Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | September 19, 2018

Darwin’s Secret Sex Problem

(2 Minute Read)

What is the huge “elephant-in-the-room” problem for evolutionary biologists that is no problem at all for Biblical creationists?

It is this big question:
How did sexual reproduction ever get started?

How did males and females simultaneously emerge in kind after kind of animal?

For Biblical creationists, the answer is simple. The Great Creator from the beginning made them male and female and commanded them to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:20-28).

But evolutionary biologists have no idea how to answer this question — a question that is continually staring everybody right in the face day after day.

Evolutionists hypothesize that reproduction started asexually — copying DNA and splitting in two. But how did life kinds transition from asexual reproduction to sexual reproduction? The latter requires the simultaneous appearance of two separate individuals which each contribute only half of their DNA to the offspring. It’s a major puzzle for evolutionists.

Dr. F. LaGard Smith is the author of a new book focused on this problem:
Darwin’s Secret Sex Problem: Exposing Evolution’s Fatal Flaw—The Origin of Sex
It challenges both evolutionists and evolutionary creationists.

Dr. F. LaGard Smith

Dr. Smith points out the problems with a purported evolutionary development of sex:
“The first-ever generation of sexual reproduction would have required
1) a never-before-seen male organism and a novel female organism,
2) magically having compatible chromosomes, and
3) a death-defying process of precisely halving their chromosomes, mixing them together in a revolutionary way, and then recombining to produce, not a clone (as in asexual replication), but a unique offspring unlike any on the planet.
Not to mention the minor details of geographic proximity and an evolved instinct to mate — all absolutely required in Round One of sex to start the sexual ball rolling.”

Dr. Smith concludes that natural selection could not possibly have provided simultaneous, on-time delivery of the first compatible male/female pair for each of millions of sexually-unique life kinds, without which, Smith says, “evolution’s bedrock thesis of microbe-to-man common descent is not science, but science fiction.”

Sexual reproduction could not possibly have been
formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications.
-Dr. F. LaGard Smith

Dr. Smith focuses on science throughout the book. He ignores religious and Biblical issues, choosing instead to highlight a major flaw of evolutionary science — one that he says dynamites Darwin’s theory of evolution of life kinds from molecules.

This book is a fresh illuminating look at a very old problem. Dr. Smith shows what Darwin himself said would falsify his theory — namely that sexual reproduction “could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications.”

Dr. Smith’s book is an enjoyable, edifying read seasoned with splashes of humor. I highly recommend it.

Questions to Ponder

1. If no scientist has been able to explain an evolutionary origin of sexual reproduction, why is evolutionary theory still taught as unquestioned gospel?
2. Did you learn about this problem with the theory of evolution in your high school or college biology classes? If not, why not?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday September 19, 2018 A.D.

Guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of science falsely so called. (1 Timothy 6:20)

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Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | September 12, 2018

Hurricane Coming

(5 Minute Read)

Hurricane Florence is expected to smash into the east coast of the United States with winds up to 150 mph later this week.

 

The average hurricane spans about 300 miles, but Florence is a monster storm spanning 575 miles. This is significantly larger than 2005’s Hurricane Katrina (415 miles wide) but currently smaller than Hurricane Sandy’s record width of 1,000 miles in 2012.

The National Hurricane Center classifies Florence as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm. The center issued hurricane and storm surge watches for the East Coast from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, all the way north to the North Carolina-Virginia border.

The center warns of an “extremely dangerous” triple threat in the Carolinas and Virginia:
1. A life-threatening storm surge (rise in ocean water over dry land).
2. Life-threatening flooding from exceptionally heavy rainfall — as much as 4 feet of rain. Recent rains have already produced high rivers and saturated ground in North & South Carolina and Virginia. The slow-moving storm will exacerbate flooding danger.
3. Hurricane-force winds over hundreds of square miles of land.

A Category 4 hurricane (winds 130-156 mph) can be mind-numbingly catastrophic. The National Hurricane Center described the potential damage from a Category 4 storm: “Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”

South Carolina governor Henry McMaster issued mandatory evacuation orders along the South Carolina coast resulting in over 1 million people fleeing the storm. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered mandatory coastline evacuations. The governors of Virginia, Maryland, and North and South Carolina have declared states of emergency before the storm even hits.

President Trump tweeted Monday afternoon:
“The Storms in the Atlantic are very dangerous. We encourage anyone in the path of these storms to prepare themselves and to heed the warnings of State and Local officials. The Federal Government is closely monitoring and ready to assist. We are with you!”

What is a Hurricane?

Called typhoons in the Pacific and cyclones in the Indian Ocean, hurricanes are huge rotating thunderstorm systems with sustained winds of 74 mph (Category 1) to 157+ mph (Category 5). Hurricanes can generate 100-foot waves, extend hundreds of miles across, last over two weeks, and travel thousands of miles.

Hurricane formation is only partially understood. When rain condenses from rising moist warm air, the resulting dry cooler air cascades earthward, generating powerful winds. These sweep up more moisture from a warm ocean, continuing the cycle. Earth’s rotation spins the system. Hurricanes produce violent winds, torrential rain, storm surges (causing 90% of hurricane deaths), flooding, and tornadoes.

For northern-hemisphere hurricanes, the most dangerous region is the right side relative to travel direction because of the additive effect of steering winds and counter-clockwise hurricane winds. The right side has the heaviest rainfall and spawns the most tornadoes.

Hurricane season runs June through November. Major hurricanes striking the US were more frequent 1940-1970 than 1970-2000. Hurricanologists think Atlantic hurricane frequency is now increasing. Last century, 24 hurricanes surpassed $1 billion damage. Already this century, at least 25 hurricanes have exceeded that figure.

Hurricane Benefits

Too few hurricanes would be as harmful as too many. Hurricanes are essential for planetary temperature balance, releasing solar heat from oceans and diverting heat from the tropics. In oceans hurricanes prevent CO2 buildup which could lead to global cooling.

Many regions depend on major storms for water. Bringing 6-12 inches of rain, hurricanes relieve drought. Hurricanes prune old growth with winds and lightning fires, making room for new plants. Lightning fixes nitrogen in soil, fertilizing it. Hurricanes significantly enhance marine chlorophyll along continental shelves.

A hurricane releases daily heat energy that’s 200 times earth’s electrical generating capacity. Could man harness and store hurricane energy someday for beneficial use?

After Eden teachable moment

Hurricane Theology

Natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes stagger humanity with destruction, suffering, and death. Does an all-powerful, loving God intentionally send hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis? Or does He wish they didn’t happen?

Biblical response to disaster includes compassion, assistance, and God’s truth (Isaiah 45:7).

The same day Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti in October 2016, a representative of the Christian Relief Fund wrote, “Our team is already on the ground distributing clean water and food and working to provide immediate shelter for those who have been displaced.”

Many churches and Christian schools in Florida and North Carolina promptly opened their doors as shelters for Hurricane Matthew victims, with believers rallying to provide food, bedding, and other immediate needs.

The first “boots on the ground” after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were compassionate Christians. World magazine reported 9,000 Southern Baptists from 41 states contributed 120,000 workdays serving 10,000,000 meals and boosting recovery. Salvation Army personnel served 5,000,000 hot meals from 11 field kitchens. Christian agencies, megachurches, and small congregations embodied Christian compassion with shelter, clothing, and food — often including Bibles and prayer.

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) is one of the three largest disaster relief providers in the U.S. It is ready to immediately spring into action to assist victims of Hurricane Florence. SBDR plans to repair storm damage as well as to provide food, water, shower and laundry units, and other needed supplies. SBDR chainsaw teams will clean up fallen trees and storm debris. SBDR will also send out trained volunteer teams to remove mud and flood debris from homes, repair water damage, and kill mold caused by standing water.

Why do catastrophes happen? The reason is sin — we live in a broken world (Genesis 3:16-19; Romans 8:20-22). Nonetheless, God has a clear purpose for catastrophes.

How did Jesus answer when asked about tragedy? His astounding answer was that catastrophes — like the Siloam Tower collapse killing eighteen and Pilate’s Galilean massacre — are warnings to repent:
Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5).

Jesus was echoing God’s words to Solomon:
When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land, or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

God sends famine, drought, blight, plague, storms, floods, and war — to call mankind to repentance (Amos 4:6-11).
I killed your young men with the sword…yet you did not return to Me,” declares the Lord.

Who sent Noah’s Flood? Who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah? Who inflicted plagues on Egypt? Who sent Assyria and Babylon to chastise Israel and Judah? Who sent Jesus to the cross (Acts 2:23)?

Many times I told my children, “Don’t waste your discipline. Learn the lesson so you won’t have to repeat the discipline.” Most people waste catastrophes — they miss God’s message. Either they babble nonsense about the power of nature, or they curse God and refuse to repent (Revelation 16:9,11,21).

People usually miss and ignore God’s message in natural disasters. According to Jesus, the message of tragedy is, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5) The proper response to calamity is repentance.

Why expect good weather? If everything developed via random evolutionary processes, catastrophic weather should be the norm. Expectations of good weather presuppose a benevolent weather Controller. Last century only 24 of 5200 weeks saw hurricanes of $1 billion damage. Do we thank God for good weather?

The God who “hurled a great wind on the sea” to drive Jonah to repentance orchestrates all weather (Jonah 1:4; Psalm 107:29; Zechariah 10:1). Matthew, Mark, and Luke report Christ stopped a storm so severe that veteran sailors trembled for their lives, gasping in awe, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25)

God controls all creation, from sparrow deaths (Matthew 10:29), to storm paths (Job 37:9-13), to rulers’ rise and fall (Isaiah 40:23-24; Daniel 2:21,37-38,44; 4:17,32).

Hurricanes are God’s merciful megaphones to get man’s attention. The crucial message of every calamity is “Repent and follow Christ.

The God who “hurled a great wind on the sea”
to drive Jonah to repentance
controls all creation — from sparrow deaths,
to storm paths, to rulers’ rise and fall.

What Hurricanes Cannot Destroy

People scramble to safeguard life and property against hurricanes, but neglect essential preparation — repentance for sin and commitment to Jesus Christ.

Eventually life and property will be destroyed anyway (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Peter 3:7,10-12). Prepare for life’s hurricanes by turning to Jesus Christ. The gain is eternal life which hurricanes cannot destroy.

The greatest tragedy of history, the Crucifixion, provided reconciliation with God. Christ died for my sins and gave me eternal life. Why fear hurricanes, bad-hair days, or anything else?

Questions to Ponder

1. Have you allowed the reports of Hurricane Florence to work fresh repentance and reverence in your heart?
2. What personal benefits have you observed following your own life’s disasters?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday September 12, 2018 A.D.

“But I gave you also cleanness of teeth in all your cities
And lack of bread in all your places,
Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
“Furthermore, I withheld the rain from you
While there were still three months until harvest.
Then I would send rain on one city
And on another city I would not send rain;
One part would be rained on,
While the part not rained on would dry up.
So two or three cities would stagger to another city to drink water,
But would not be satisfied;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
“I smote you with scorching wind and mildew;
And the caterpillar was devouring
Your many gardens and vineyards, fig trees and olive trees;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
“I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt;
I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses,
And I made the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
“I overthrew you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
And you were like a firebrand snatched from a blaze;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
(Amos 4:6-11 NASB)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | September 5, 2018

Welcoming Sin

(2 Minute Read)

Recently I saw a fellow wearing this tee shirt. He was very proud of it and gave permission for this picture.

One perspective on the shirt could be
“Lord, I feel a sin coming on. Please help me to stand strong against it.”

At first I assumed that this was the wearer’s perspective. I figured that he was a Christian who was cognizant of the deceitfulness of Satan. I figured he wanted to alert himself and others to the deceptive approaches of sin in order to resist.

Then I realized that this was the opposite of the wearer’s perspective. He was gung-ho for sin. The sin of drunkenness? A sin of license, lust, or sacrilege expedited by drink? He welcomed it!

I couldn’t help but ponder a few pertinent Bible passages that came to mind:

But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. (Ephesians 5:3-12)

Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool,
And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.
(Proverbs 10:23)

Folly is joy to him who lacks sense,
But a man of understanding walks straight.
(Proverbs 15:21)

May we all feel sin when it comes on. But may we resist in the strength of the Spirit instead of welcoming it.

Questions to Ponder

1. Do you think a tee shirt slogan communicates effectively? Why or why not?
2. What engaging and truthful tee shirts have you seen?
3. What strategy helps you resist sin?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday September 5, 2018 A.D.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10:5)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | August 29, 2018

A Claim, a Task, a Promise

(3 Minute Read)

A while back I saw this bumper sticker:
“BORN OK the first time!”
Unbelievable audacity! Did the driver realize Who he was disputing?

Such a sacrilegious bumper sticker would once have been highly offensive because it would have been recognized as blasphemous. For it directly contradicts the words of Jesus Christ to Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). The bumper sticker boasts a callous disregard for eternal consequences of heaven or hell.

Yet the driver was confident enough of no social repercussions that he arrogantly displayed this bumper sticker. What an indication of the disdain our society holds for Biblical truth! The bumper sticker boldly rejects Christ and His message. Yet by using Jesus’ own terminology to deny the need for a Savior, the bumper sticker implicitly acknowledges the existence of the Biblical worldview.

Who will act to restore the Biblical worldview, the only TRUE worldview? These last words of Jesus to His disciples speak directly to this issue:
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

These last few words of Jesus contain
1. A Stupendous Claim
2. An Enormous Task
3. A Tremendous Promise

The Stupendous Claim Jesus declared is that ALL authority in the universe belongs to Him. Only days after having been crucified with criminals, He stands alive claiming complete authority over everything in heaven and on earth. What a Man to follow! What a Lord to serve! What a God to worship!

The Enormous Task Jesus assigned is to disciple, baptize, and teach the nations. This means sowing the Good News of rescue from sin through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. It means baptizing those whom the Holy Spirit regenerates and convicts, and it means teaching Biblical truth to the new believers.

Jesus instructed His original disciples to teach their disciples “to observe all that I commanded you.” And one of those commands to them was to teach others to obey what He commanded them. This therefore is the logical link that extends Jesus’ commands to the original disciples to all following generations of disciples. The promises, however, that Jesus made specifically to the Twelve are not necessarily applicable to all believers, although many do apply.

Jesus gave the disciples the job of passing on His teaching to successive generations of believers. Jesus based His teaching on the Old Testament beginning with the first chapter of Genesis (Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6). He provided for the New Testament extension of the Old Testament through the writing of the Apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 16:13-14; 17:18). They would make a permanent record of His life, death, and resurrection in the four Gospels, and give an explanation of their significance and their application in the Epistles. The teaching of Jesus thus extends from Genesis to Revelation, from the Creation to the New Heaven and New Earth. Genesis to Revelation is thus the content which each generation of disciples is to teach to the next generation of disciples.

The Tremendous Promise Jesus made is to never leave us, to stay with us till the end. This One who has promised to be with us is the same One who has total authority over all things. What can mere man do to me? (Hebrews 13:5-6) No matter what happens, Jesus has promised His presence to the very end of the age.

Jesus’ complete authority and promised presence guarantee the successful completion of the Enormous Task.

If Jesus were to give His command to make disciples today, He might say something like, “Teach people all over the world the Biblical worldview that I taught you.” Now it is time to spread out and speak out. Spread out through our community, city, nation, and world. Speak out to proclaim Biblical truth.

The world needs to hear, on the authority of Jesus Christ Himself, that we were NOT born OK the first time. We must be born again. Be bold and of good courage, brothers and sisters, in planting Biblical truth one person at a time wherever the Lord places us.

Questions to Ponder

1. Do you think a bumper sticker communicates effectively? Why or why not?
2. What engaging and truthful bumper stickers have you seen?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday August 29, 2018 A.D.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10:5)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | August 22, 2018

Who Made You?

(2 Minute Read)

We live in an age in which many people are very confused by a plethora of unbiblical worldviews. Yet the Bible speaks clear and compelling truth to a badly muddled people.

Here is one such Bible verse:
Know that the LORD Himself is God. It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100:3)

This verse is stuffed with seven vital truths which are particularly relevant in our day of confusion:
1. Know.
2. The Lord is God.
3. God made us.
4. We did not make ourselves.
5. We belong to God.
6. We are sheep.
7. We are in His pasture.

TRUTH #1 (Know) commands us to know certain facts which follow in the verse. Biblical faith is not an ignorant speculation. Biblical faith is based on knowledge of the Creator, knowledge which He has revealed to man in the Bible.

TRUTH #2 (The Lord is God) goes right to the heart of life. There is a God, and He is Yahweh, the God who reveals Himself to man in the Bible.

TRUTHS #3 (God made us) and #4 (We did not make ourselves) penetrate and explode the evolutionary worldview. God is the one who created man. Man did not make himself through a process of evolution.

TRUTH #5 (We belong to God) reminds us who is the owner of creation. Since God is our Creator, He owns us. We belong to Him. He sets the rules and parameters of life. We owe everything to the Great Creator.

TRUTH #6 (We are sheep) warns us to be alert. We are sheep and therefore very susceptible to deception. To prevent this, stick close to the Good Shepherd and heed His Word.

TRUTH #7 (We are in His pasture) assures us of His love and care. We are in His pasture. The Owner of the pasture has responsibility for caring for all the needs of the sheep. By this God is reminding us to trust Him for all our needs.

Write this short verse on a post-it for your dashboard or mirror. Meditate on it frequently. Soon you’ll have it memorized. It is packed with truth which will guard your heart and mind.

Questions to Ponder

1. What practical choice will you face today that reflects the truth that there is One Who owns you?
2. How can you portray to others today that you are aware you did not make yourself?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday August 22, 2018 A.D.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10:5)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | August 15, 2018

Mystery Revealed

(2 Minute Read)

In last week’s blog post Mystery, I asked a question regarding this picture of something at one of our recent campsites:
What is under the tarp?

I figured some people might guess the general category of item, but I doubted anyone would identify the specific details of interest that caused me to want to blog (brag) about it.

And this proved to be correct.

Timothy, David, and Patricia guessed firewood. This guess was in the right neighborhood, but still missed the key feature of the Tarp Mystery.

So what in the world is under the tarp? What is the Tarp Mystery?

The BibleScienceGuy with his
homemade firewood rack.

Tarp Mystery Revealed

The mystery item is my
Homemade Firewood Rack.
It is full of hardwood, stored in an attractive and condensed form as shown in this picture. It is simple, yet functional and aesthetically pleasing.

I made the rack out of a cement block for the base and two 2x4s inserted in the openings of the cement block and angling outward. The 2x4s go all the way through the holes to the ground. Each 2×4 presses on two places of the block — at the top and bottom of each hole at diagonally opposite spots.

I continued to add wood to the rack till the pile was almost as high as I am tall (6′).

This was my first attempt at this type of rack, and it turned out well. But I do have some modifications for the next time I build it to address some concerns.

One concern was stability. I placed it near the back of our campsite in an untrafficked area, but it could still be pushed over if someone ran into it.

Another concern was the stress on the concrete blocks where the 2x4s contact the block. There is considerable shearing force at these points. Concrete is strongest in compression and doesn’t do so well in tension, so with sufficient wood weight the base block could crack and collapse the entire rack and wood pile.

To address these concerns, next time I plan set it in front of a sturdy tree and to use two cement blocks side-by-side, with two 2x4s in each block. Then the wood stack will be supported by four 2x4s, two on each side, and there will be two cement blocks at the base which will increase stability.

Originally I had two more 2x4s supporting the 2x4s going into the cement block. I wedged them in between the ground and each slanting 2×4 holding the wood. But the 2x4s holding the wood are plenty strong and don’t need those braces, so I removed them.

To help stabilize the rack, I snugged a log up against the backside of the cement block as shown in this picture. It has a short limb sticking out which prevents it from turning over, so it will add stability to the pile on one side. The cement block is unlikely to turn over in its direction.

An additional stability improvement would be to add an outrigger log to the bottom of the stack — a six-foot-long curved log as the first piece of wood in the rack, resting on top of the cement block, and perpendicular to it with both ends on the ground.

Questions to Ponder

1. Do you have any suggestions or improvements for my wood rack?
2. Which Bible mystery did you ponder last week?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the prequel:
Mystery

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday August 15, 2018 A.D.

Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:50-52)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | August 8, 2018

Mystery

(2 Minute Read)

Can you guess what’s under the tarp?

Regular readers of this blog know that we go camping a lot. This is a picture of something at one of our recent campsites.

What in the world could it be?

Tarp Mystery

You may be able to guess the general category but probably not the specific details of interest that are under the tarp.

One friend’s first guess was, “You guys adopted a bashful Great Dane.”

Several people guessed a grill, including a rabid Green Bay Packers fan who guessed, “A grill, smartly painted in the Packer Green & Gold.”

Interesting guesses, but not right. It’s a mystery!

Here are two (possibly unhelpful) hints about this Tarp Mystery:
– In my opinion, but probably not in some people’s opinion, the hidden item is better than a grill.
– A picture with the tarp removed would make an interesting jigsaw puzzle.

Submit guesses about the tarp mystery as comments below. Next week’s blog post Mystery Revealed will include a picture showing the answer.

Mystery in the Bible

Most people enjoy a good mystery, either as a book or movie. Did you know that there are intriguing mysteries in the Bible?

At least 28 Bible verses use the word “mystery.” Click Mystery in the Bible for a list of these verses.

Here are the subjects specifically identified as a mystery in the Bible:
Mystery of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream
Mystery of the kingdom of God
Mystery of God’s sovereignty in salvation
Mystery of God’s wisdom
Mystery of the final resurrection
Mystery of His will
Mystery of Christ
Mystery of Christ and the church
Mystery of the gospel
Mystery of lawlessness
Mystery of faith
Mysteries of the book of Revelation

Of course there are many other mysteries in Scripture not specifically identified as mysteries. One value of a Biblical mystery is that it stimulates people to further study and research. It makes Biblical study more interesting!

Questions to Ponder

1. Which of the Bible Mysteries listed above are you going to investigate further?
2. We’ll never fully understand in this life all the mysteries in the Bible. But are you acting on the clear non-mysterious truth that you know?
3. What is your guess for the Tarp Mystery?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the sequel:
Mystery Revealed

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday August 8, 2018 A.D.

Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:50-52)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | August 1, 2018

The Truth, and Nothing But the Truth

(2 Minute Read)

The former Head of White House Security, Clinton appointee Craig Livingstone, commented to an FBI agent on the 1995 Travelgate trial,
“Don’t you know that truth is relative? Your testimony was your version of the truth. Truth is whatever you want it to be.”

Mr. Livingstone’s viewpoint is not uncommon today. The entire concept of truth has been much degraded by our culture. This is evidenced by the use of so many qualifying words with truth. We hear about absolute truth, ultimate truth, real truth, final truth, relative truth, and even true truth (as if there could be any other kind). Often heard is another term, “personal truth.” There is no such thing.

No qualifier should be needed at all with “truth.” Truth is an absolute word. Truth is truth. Sadly, qualification is sometimes needed in order to communicate clearly in a broken and confused world whose concept of truth has been so compromised.

Truth is defined by the nature, character, will, and Word of God. Truth is whatever corresponds with God’s reality. Truth is whatever accurately reflects the nature, character, and Word of God and His created reality. Contrary to Livingstone, truth is not “whatever you want it to be.”

Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, contains 176 verses. Each verse (with the exception of four) refers to God’s Word: testimonies, laws, ordinances, precepts, commandments, words, statutes, judgments.

This verse from Psalm 119 proclaims the totality of God’s Word to be Truth:
The sum of Thy word is truth, and every one of Thy righteous ordinances is everlasting. (Psalm 119:160)

This hardly needs to be said since God can speak nothing but the Truth.

Since God speaks only truth, it logically follows that every divine precept is righteous and eternal. The moral law of God is a reflection of His character which does not change (Hebrews 13:8). Therefore His pronouncements must also be righteous and everlasting. Isaiah proclaimed, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

Jesus Himself expressed this concept, saying,
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (Luke 21:33).

Jesus based His life and ministry on truth, and He emphatically claimed to speak, teach, and be the truth. Fully 77 times He began His teaching with, “Truly, I say to you, …“.

Additionally, recall these statements by Jesus:
My witness is true.” (John 8:14)
My judgment is true.” (John 8:16)
I speak the truth.” (John 8:45)
I am the truth.” (John 14:6).

Even His enemies acknowledged that He was “truthful and taught the way of God in truth” (Matthew 22:16). In the most extreme danger, when on trial for His life, He did not back away from His truth claims but testified, “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:37) The Gospels record over 160 references to truth.

Obviously, truth was a very important issue for Jesus. Psalm 119:160 (quoted above) is one of many Bible verses identifying Scripture, God’s Word, as truth. This understanding of Scripture is essential for one who follows Jesus as Lord, for this is precisely what the Lord Jesus proclaimed throughout His life.

A Biblical worldview develops by soaking one’s mind in Scripture, God’s truth. Let His righteous ordinances be your continual meditation. Make the everlasting true Word of God your daily delight. Obey its precepts daily.

Questions to Ponder

1. How would you answer someone who says, “That’s your truth, but not my truth”?
2. Are you taking action on the truth that has already been made clear to you?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday August 1, 2018 A.D.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10:5)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | July 25, 2018

Truth and Soap

(2 Minute Read)

“What is truth?” demanded the Roman governor of the haggard prisoner.

The governor’s question, “What is truth?”, is a crucial question. It is possibly the most fundamental and practical question of all time.

People from scullery maids to kings have opined on this question, as it has been argued and debated across the ages. The debate continues in our day with the frequent claim, even in the church, that there is no absolute truth.

According to George Barna’s research, 91% of those who describe themselves as “born-again Christians” do not believe a short list of basic Biblical doctrines, including the existence of absolute truth in the Bible. Yet every person without exception eventually answers the governor’s question for himself, as each bases his life on his own answer.

What provoked the governor’s question? How did the prisoner answer the governor?

Logically, absolute truth must exist. The statement, “There is no absolute truth” is an absolute statement. If this statement is true, then the statement is an example of an absolute truth. The existence of this example contradicts the statement itself. The statement is therefore false. Therefore absolute truth exists.

The Creator has built the universe on a foundation of truth. He has built into human thinking, language, and culture the fundamental concept of truth. Every human endeavor is necessarily constructed on a truth base. Meaningful communication cannot take place apart from the concept of truth because meaning depends on truth. In business, in law, and in government there are contracts, agreements, and judgments. All of these are based on the assumption of a concept of truth. Science is literally a search for truth in nature, God’s creation. Every field of human activity, without exception, requires a truth foundation.

The existence of Truth demonstrates the prior existence of a Creator who defines Truth. The very concept of Truth points unerringly to the existence of God. Truth cannot exist apart from God, for Truth is defined by the nature, character, Word, and will of God the Creator.

The bedraggled prisoner did not reply to the Roman governor’s question, “What is truth?”

The reason the prisoner did not reply is that He had already indicated the answer to the governor’s question — by His statement which had provoked the governor’s question! The prisoner had said,
“For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:37)

This was an extraordinarily outrageous claim to make before the judge by One on trial for His life. He was essentially equating His own speech with Truth (see also John 14:6). If the governor had listened to the prisoner, there would have been no need for the governor’s question.

The prisoner had actually also given an answer to the question only hours before in His Upper Room prayer for His disciples. Praying to God the Father on behalf of His disciples, He had said,
Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth. (John 17:17)

Jesus equated Truth with God’s Word. He linked the process of sanctification (set apart to be made holy) with immersion in God’s Word.

Paul refers to the process as “washing with the Word.” (Ephesians 5:26) The basic idea is that we are progressively made more like Christ, more holy, through the cleansing action of God’s Word.

How do we “soap” ourselves with the Word? We do this by listening to the Word, reading the Word, studying the Word, memorizing the Word, and meditating on the Word. Do you want to become more like Jesus faster? Then get into the Word more. Delight yourself in the Word. “Lather” yourself with Scripture 24×7.

Questions to Ponder

1. How would you answer someone who says, “That’s your truth, but not my truth”?
2. Are you taking action on the truth that has already been made clear to you?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday July 25, 2018 A.D.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10:5)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | July 18, 2018

An Outrageous Claim

(2 Minute Read)

“There are many ways to God,” pontificated the cocky college student.

To his pleased astonishment, I agreed with him. But his delight was somewhat mitigated when I added, “But all ways to God lead through Jesus Christ.”

Near the end of his life, Jesus of Nazareth serenely made the most outrageous claim ever made by a human being. He said,
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” (John 14:6)

Jesus did not simply claim to show the way or to teach the truth or to give life. As amazing as such claims would be, Jesus claimed much more. He claimed to BE The Way, to BE The Truth, and to BE The Life. This is a clear claim to full Deity, for these characteristics are true of God alone.

Either these claims are True, or these claims are False; there is no other possibility. If they are True, then Jesus is the God-Man. If they are False, which would be the most natural assumption to make, then it should be quite easy to demonstrate that they are False.

Would you have any trouble disproving these claims for any person you know? The very fact that no one has ever been able to submit a single piece of substantive evidence against these claims, much less prove the claims false, indicates how sound they are.

Positive evidence for the claims comes from a close study of the person of Jesus. The historical record of His life in the four gospels reveals a person who fits the “claims are True” position. The record does not fit a person who would make claims of this magnitude which are False. The inescapable conclusion is that Jesus’ claims are True.

“I am The Way” means that reconciliation with God and entrance to heaven is through Jesus alone. “No one comes to the Father, but through Me” means that salvation is only through Christ.

“I am The Truth” means that all truth claims are measured by the standard of Jesus Christ — by His words, character, and person. It is precisely because Jesus is The Truth that He is also the ultimate Judge of all (John 5:22).

“I am The Life” means that true life, eternal life, is found in the Person of Jesus Christ alone. He created life, and moment by moment He sustains the life of each creature (Colossians 1:16-17). Jesus is the source and giver of Eternal Life. Scripture proclaims that one who has Jesus Christ has eternal life, while conversely, one who is without Jesus Christ has no life (John 3:36; 1 John 5:12).

Christianity is exclusive in teaching that no one comes to God except by Jesus; salvation comes only through Christ:
And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12).

There is no salvation in Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Scientology, Spiritism, Judaism, Secular Humanism, American Patriotism, or any other religion. Except for Christianity, all religions are actually evil because they deny the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, and thereby lead men to eternal condemnation. Jesus is the sole mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). Your relationship to Jesus Christ determines your eternal destiny.

Isn’t this intolerant? Isn’t this the height of arrogance? Absolutely NOT! It would be supreme arrogance for a Christian to defy his Lord and to contradict His Word by saying that there is a another way. What could be more arrogant than to contradict Christ? Acknowledging any other way would be intolerant of Jesus’ statement that He is the ONLY Way to God.

Which do you prefer, to be viewed as intolerant and arrogant by the world, or to be intolerant and arrogant toward Jesus? Christians have no choice but to boldly proclaim the universal necessity of faith in Christ for salvation, for this is precisely what Jesus Himself, their Lord, taught.

Jesus, the Lord of the universe, said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” As outrageous as such a statement may at first seem, it is true. Jesus is the only Way to God and Heaven. Jesus alone is the Definer and Arbiter of absolute Truth. Jesus is the sole Source and Sustainer of all Life.

This understanding is an essential component of a Biblical worldview because it goes right to the heart of where man came from, what his problem is, and how to solve the problem. There is NO other Way, NO other Truth, and NO other Life.

Questions to Ponder

1. How would you answer someone who accuses you of intolerance because you say Jesus is THE WAY?
2. How can you take action today based on the reality that Jesus is THE LIFE?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
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new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for lists of the best Bible-Science Guy posts of each year.
Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday July 18, 2018 A.D.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10:5)

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