Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | July 17, 2019

Kepler for President: Grins & Growls #1

(5 Minute Read)
Kepler

I’m Running for President!

Woof! Woof! This is Kepler again, Master’s Jack Russell terrier. I’m writing another article for Master’s blog.

Running for President

After meeting people in campgrounds all over the country, I have learned that folks really like me. Folks like the way I think and what I have to say. Folks find my take on issues both refreshing and challenging.

Therefore, I made a decision. In last week’s blog post, Kepler for President, I announced that I am running for President of the United States of America.

The theme of my campaign is
Alere Flammam Veritatis.
This Latin phrase is variously translated as
Nourish the Flame of Truth or Let the Flame of Truth Shine.

Somebody Has to Say It!

To kick off my campaign, I need to talk to my people! I want to share my reflections on a smorgasbord of issues — some things that make me grin and some that make me growl!

As a young puppy I was already a Thinker.

My dear breeder Mama Patti said I was a “thinker” from just a young puppy, and here are my “thinkings” to encourage my people to support my run for president. Woof! Woof!

If some of my “thinkings” offend you, remember, I’m just a dog. But hey, somebody has to say it!

Life

I am committed to the Right to Life, including for the unborn and elderly. It is the most fundamental of all rights, because without life, no other right matters. For example, does a dead person care about freedom of speech?

Creation vs. Evolution

This is a fundamental issue, despite what many people claim. Your position on this issue affects how you think about almost everything.

I’m so amazed that many seemingly intelligent people like college professors believe in evolution! What happened to their logic and thinking skills? And to think they are indoctrinating (“teaching”) young people in this false philosophy! I start growling whenever I think of how they are brainwashing young people with these garbage ideas!

I’m just a dog, and even I know that the universe and everything in it had to have a cause. Somebody made it.

It didn’t just pop into existence from nothing, because from nothing, nothing comes. Therefore, there must be a Creator.

When I was just a puppy, Master taught me a Bible verse that, like me, is short and strong and to the point:
The builder of all things is God. (Hebrews 3:4)

I have learned from Master about Yahweh, the God of the Bible, the Great Creator who made everything. He is the Creator, Ruler, and Sustainer of the universe. He made me and Master and all my people. We are accountable to Him for the responsibilities He gave us.

The Great Creator established both a physical order and a moral order in the universe. We ignore or defy either His physical order or His moral order at our peril.

Kepler for President

Government

Government at all levels is way too intrusive and oppressive.

Why do we still have laws passed 100 years ago like the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 that prevents me from legally eating abandoned eggs I find in the woods? I find lots of eggs on the ground during our hikes, but Master won’t let me eat them because it’s “illegal.”

It’s time to sensibly update old laws and regulations. All laws and regulations should have sunset provisions specifying expiration or renewal dates.

Why should Master have to pay taxes on food he buys for Henry and me to eat? He doesn’t pay tax on the food he and Missus buy at the grocery store for them to eat.

Why does the federal government need to be involved in education and healthcare? Where in the US Constitution is authority given to the federal government over education or healthcare? (Spoiler alert: not there.)

Missus just told me to “Settle!” because I got to barking and growling and tail-thumping here at the computer. I can’t help growling as I consider how off-base these things are! But Master has read the Bill of Rights to me, and its language is clear even to a canine!

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution is the final amendment listed in the Bill of Rights. Any dog or person can understand what it says:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Since educational and healthcare powers are not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution, they belong to the individual states or the people. Thus all educational and healthcare activities by the federal government are unconstitutional.

Therefore as President I will eliminate the federal Department of Education and privatize human schools. Competition would do wonders for education. Look what competition has done for the pet-food industry! Also, I will eliminate the federal Health and Human Services department. All these responsibilities belong to the individual states.

Missus is getting concerned again. She notices when I keep growling about stuff. But if an analytical dog is going to change our country for the better, these unconstitutional features must be pawed over!

Kepler for President
This is my campaign poster.
Nourish the Flame of Truth.

President Trump

President Trump often makes me grin. I mostly like his policies and what he is doing. But I think he should bark less and bite more. But hey, as Master points out, who am I to criticize someone for barking too much?

Master and I thank Yahweh every day that He gave us a leader like President Trump to restore fundamental principles of liberty and religious freedom to America. That will help make America great again.

Also I think President Trump should get a dog like me to be his Chief of Staff. Trumpster would be a good name for a Jack Russell terrier to run the White House.

I won’t mind if I lose the race for the nomination to President Trump, because he’s been a great president. But if I win, I will ask him to be my vice-president.

Spending & Taxes

We have to control government spending. It is out of control. Our children and puppies, grandchildren and grandpuppies will be inheriting a huge government debt.

Taxes are way too high. Some people and dogs pay over 50% of their income in taxes. Yahweh took a tithe from the Old Testament Israelites. That should be enough for government as well — 5% for the federal government and 5% for state and local government.

I plan to cut government spending across the board and reduce taxes for everyone. Woof! Woof!

Judges

I’m so tired of humans misusing the word “unconstitutional.” Whenever a judge doesn’t like a law, he calls it “unconstitutional.”

As president, I pledge to appoint judges who respect and uphold the Constitution and who render their judgments based on law and not on personal predilections.

Rebus Puzzle

Can you figure out what this Rebus puzzle represents? It’s something referred to in this blog post. Try to solve the puzzle before you look at the answer below.

So that’s how things look from the Dog House! Those are my thoughts on some of the big issues of the day. Stay tuned next week for Kepler for President: Grins & Growls #2 to continue reading about my campaign positions.

Please vote Kepler for President in 2020.
Alere Flammam Veritatis

Till next time, this is Kepler signing off. Woof! Woof!

Questions to Ponder

1. Filling America with truth per my campaign slogan will make America great again. How will you implement my campaign theme Alere Flammam Veritatis in your personal life? That is, how do you intend to Nourish the Flame of Truth and Let the Flame of Truth Shine?
2. What do you think is the most important issue of the 2020 presidential campaign?

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

Rebus Answer: Bill of Rights
[Bill+loaf R+eye+TS]
(Click Rebus Puzzles for links to blog articles with a Rebus puzzle.)

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 37th article in a series of blog posts on a precocious Jack Russell terrier named Kepler. Numbers 1-8 are by Kepler’s master, the BibleScienceGuy. Numbers 9-37 are by Kepler himself.
Read the prequels:
1. Why I Named Our Puppy “Kepler”
2. Kepler’s Kind
3. Kepler’s Lopsided Trade
4. Kepler’s Amazing Nose
5. Kepler’s Business Card
6. Kepler & the Psycho Squirrel
(with video)
7. Taunting Kepler
8. Adam and Puppies

The following prequels are by Kepler:
9. Who Taught Kepler?
10. Kepler Gets a Buddy
(with video)
11. Kepler Chases a Squirrel (with video)
12. Kepler’s Complaint
13. Kepler’s To-Do List
14. Kepler and the Football Weekend
15. Kepler’s Favorite Store
16. Kepler at a Truck Stop
17. Kepler & Henry Catch a Squirrel
18. Kepler Finds Killdeer Eggs
19. Kepler Finds Robin Eggs
20. Kepler Lives to Tell the Tale
21. Kepler, Bears, & Raccoons
22. Kepler Mentors Henry
23. Kepler Gets a Bear
24. Kepler Finds Strange Eggs
25. Kepler Finds Duck Eggs
26. Kepler Gives Thanks
27. Kepler’s Newest Enemy
28. Kepler Loves Bulldogs
29. Kepler Ponders Snow
30. Kepler Wants to Move to Australia
31. Kepler’s Dating Profile
32. Kepler Meets Skunk
33. Kepler Wants to Be Good
34. Kepler on Guard
35. Kepler Chews On Grammar
36. Kepler for President

Read the sequel:
38. Kepler for President: Grins & Growls #2 coming soon . . .

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
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 17, 2019 A.D.

But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;
And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you;
And let the fish of the sea declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?
(Job 12:7-10)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Advertisements
Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | July 10, 2019

Kepler for President

(3 Minute Read)
Kepler

I’m Running for President!

Woof! Woof! This is Kepler again, Master’s Jack Russell terrier. I’m writing another article for Master’s blog.

Huge Announcement

After meeting many people in campgrounds all over the country, I have learned something. Folks really like me. Folks like the way I think and like to hear what I have to say. Folks like my candid expressions of opinions. Folks like my politics. Folks like the way I stand for truth with no compromise. Folks say they like my take on issues and find it both refreshing and challenging.

Therefore, during this season of celebrating our country’s Independence Day, I am hereby announcing my candidacy for President of the United States of America!

Qualification

Some people may object that I have no experience or preparation for such a job. But I take encouragement from this quote by author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) as recorded in Oxford Essential Quotations:
“Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is thought necessary.”
Besides, I will have Master to help me.

Do I meet the Constitution’s presidential qualifications? I sure do! The Constitution (Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 5) requires the president to be a natural born citizen. I qualify because I was born in Michigan 5 years ago. And I do have a birth certificate!

The Constitution also requires the president to be at least 35 years of age. When we convert my age from dog years (dy) to human years (hy), we see I’m old enough to be president (1 dog year = 7 human years):
5 dy X 7 hy/dy = 35 years old in human years.
All 35 years of my human-year age have been spent in the USA, so I meet the constitutional requirement that a president must have been a US resident for at least 14 years.

Kepler for President
This is my campaign poster.
Nourish the Flame of Truth.

Campaign Theme

It is difficult to improve on President Trump’s campaign theme,
Make America Great Again.
It’s a theme that I wholeheartedly support.

However, after diligent study, I have settled on a different theme for my campaign. Here is my campaign theme:

Alere Flammam Veritatis

This Latin phrase is variously translated as
Nourish the Flame of Truth
or
Let the Flame of Truth Shine.
I am happy with either translation. But I am going to use the original Latin version. It sounds more impressive. It also sounds kind of like barking if you say the Latin phrase very firmly twice in a row!

Why do I especially like this motto? Truth in the mainstream media and in politics and in many other fields is so rare these days that it makes me howl in exasperation. Therefore I want to restore truth as an esteemed value in America. I want to make America full of truth again.

Master helped me come up with this campaign theme. He said using a Latin motto would add gravitas to my campaign. Gravitas is not a word I’ve heard very much, but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with gravy. And I love gravy! So I want to add gravitas to my campaign and to everything else!

Campaign Venues

You’re probably itching to know where you can meet me. Where will I be holding campaign rallies?

Here’s a hint: “Campaign trip” is an anagram of what?
Answer: It’s an anagram of “a camping trip.”

Master and Missus go camping a lot, and my buddy Henry and I love it. I wonder how people and dogs ever got started living in houses! I love our little-house-big-yard camping setup.

Campgrounds nationwide will be where I do most of my campaigning for President. Master said we want a true “grassroots” approach, so that sounds like a campground to me. I look for a “groundswell” of support, so I’m sure outdoors is the best place for that!

I love the outdoors — exploring the fantastic woods and fields and waters that are the craftsmanship of the Great Creator.
For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them. (Exodus 20:11)

Campaign Rally Venue – Kepler for President 2020
Here I am with my campaign advisor scouting a campground pavilion for a rally.

If I am elected, my summer White House will be Master’s white camper where I will sign and veto congressional bills.

I will kick off my campaign next week with a blog post where I talk to my people. I want to honestly share some thoughts reflecting my thinking on a smorgasbord of issues to encourage my people to support my run for president. Stay tuned next week for Kepler for President: Grins & Growls #1 to read about my campaign positions.

So that’s how things look from the Dog House!

Please vote Kepler for President in 2020.
Alere Flammam Veritatis

Till next time, this is Kepler signing off. Woof! Woof!

Questions to Ponder

1. How will you implement my campaign theme Alere Flammam Veritatis in your personal life? That is, how do you intend to Nourish the Flame of Truth and Let the Flame of Truth Shine?
2. After Kepler, who is your preferred candidate for President in 2020?

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

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 36th article in a series of blog posts on a precocious Jack Russell terrier named Kepler. Numbers 1-8 are by Kepler’s master, the BibleScienceGuy. Numbers 9-36 are by Kepler himself.
Read the prequels:
1. Why I Named Our Puppy “Kepler”
2. Kepler’s Kind
3. Kepler’s Lopsided Trade
4. Kepler’s Amazing Nose
5. Kepler’s Business Card
6. Kepler & the Psycho Squirrel
(with video)
7. Taunting Kepler
8. Adam and Puppies

The following prequels are by Kepler:
9. Who Taught Kepler?
10. Kepler Gets a Buddy
(with video)
11. Kepler Chases a Squirrel (with video)
12. Kepler’s Complaint
13. Kepler’s To-Do List
14. Kepler and the Football Weekend
15. Kepler’s Favorite Store
16. Kepler at a Truck Stop
17. Kepler & Henry Catch a Squirrel
18. Kepler Finds Killdeer Eggs
19. Kepler Finds Robin Eggs
20. Kepler Lives to Tell the Tale
21. Kepler, Bears, & Raccoons
22. Kepler Mentors Henry
23. Kepler Gets a Bear
24. Kepler Finds Strange Eggs
25. Kepler Finds Duck Eggs
26. Kepler Gives Thanks
27. Kepler’s Newest Enemy
28. Kepler Loves Bulldogs
29. Kepler Ponders Snow
30. Kepler Wants to Move to Australia
31. Kepler’s Dating Profile
32. Kepler Meets Skunk
33. Kepler Wants to Be Good
34. Kepler on Guard
35. Kepler Chews On Grammar

Read the sequel:
37. Kepler for President: Grins & Growls #1
38. Kepler for President: Grins & Growls #2
coming soon . . .

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
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 10, 2019 A.D.

But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;
And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you;
And let the fish of the sea declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?
(Job 12:7-10)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | July 3, 2019

Pride & Shame

(3 Minute Read)

On billboards and buses, in mainstream magazines and mainline denominations, in politicians’ patter and even on your co-workers’ coffee mugs — it’s hard to ignore the topic of pride.

These days you hear lots of boastful chatter about pride. People take pride in their careers, occupations, schools, intellect, sports teams, lifestyle, wealth, beauty, strength, skills, hobbies, pets, or houses, among many possibilities. Often strong positive emotions are associated with this pride.

In contrast, one of the most negative and unpleasant emotions is shame. Nobody likes humiliation, contempt, degradation, reproach, and shame. People often strive to avoid shame at all costs, even to the point of committing suicide.

Pride Causes Shame

Paradoxically, pride and shame, which seem to be opposites, are actually connected. Glorying in the wrong thing can lead to destruction and shame. That is one danger in pride that is made clear in Scripture.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18 ESV)
Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. (Philippians 3:19 ESV)
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. (Ephesians 5:11-12 ESV)

A result of pride in oneself is the refusal to acknowledge the Great Creator. This is a direct cause of shame.
O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be put to shame; those who turn away from You shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water. (Jeremiah 17:13 ESV)
The more they increased, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame. (Hosea 4:7 ESV)

How Does One Avoid Shame?

Scripture gives clear advice for avoiding shame. First, commit to following the commandments of the Lord, the Word of God.
Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all Your commandments.
(Psalm 119:6 ESV)
May my heart be blameless in Your statutes, that I may not be put to shame!
(Psalm 119:80 ESV)

Second, commit to following Jesus of Nazareth as Lord and Savior.
As it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.”  (Romans 9:33 ESV)
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
(Romans 10:9-13 ESV)
For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” (1 Peter 2:6 ESV)

In What Should We Glory?

If much of what people glory in today leads to shame, what should men glory in? Again, Scripture gives a clear answer.
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24 ESV)

But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
(1 Corinthians 1:27-31 ESV)
“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 10:17 ESV)

Questions to Ponder

1. Of what are you most proud? When you eventually stand before the Great Creator on Judgment Day, will you point to this item with pride?
2. How do you cultivate a spirit of humility, the antidote to pride?

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

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
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 3, 2019 A.D.

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2 ESV)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | June 26, 2019

Is Hate Always Wrong?

(3 Minute Read)

Today we constantly hear condemnations of hate crimes and hate speech. Some of the condemned actions or words are truly sins against another person, but some are trivialities.

Has the very word “hate” been hijacked?

Is hate always wrong? Is hate ever appropriate?

Could there be such a thing as Biblical hate? How does hate mesh with love?

An astonishing statement about love and hate is in the New Testament. In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul wrote this:
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor. (Romans 12:9-10)

Did the unexpected twist in those verses startle you? Did you notice a very surprising aspect of Paul’s words?

Right in the midst of commanding followers of Christ to love and right in the middle of describing what genuine love looks like, Paul commands:
Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

Genuine Love

Abhorring evil is part of genuine love! “Love” that accepts and affirms evil is not true love; it is hypocritical.

It’s quite ironic today that people castigate believers for being hypocrites and yet they want love to be hypocritical through accepting wickedness.

Much of today’s campaign against hate is misplaced. We are commanded to hate evil as part of love. We are commanded to steadfastly cling to what is good. We are commanded to love and respect (honor) people. Hating the evil behavior a person does is not at all the same as hating the person.

Abhorring and hating the evil deeds a person does is part of genuinely loving the person. To “love” a person while accepting his unrighteousness is hypocritical according to Paul.

Today people confuse acceptance and affirmation with love. If for moral reasons you do not accept and do not affirm a person’s lifestyle, you are often accused of hate. This accusation is wrong.

To follow Paul’s command, love includes abhorring evil.

Paul makes this same point to the church at Corinth in his famous Love chapter.
Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.
(1 Corinthians 13:6)

Love never accepts, celebrates, or rejoices over evil. Love celebrates truth!

Every human being is made in the image of God and therefore deserves love and respect. But that does not mean all behaviors should be accepted and affirmed. Evil ones should be hated while still loving and honoring the person.

Jesus Models Genuine Love

Jesus modeled this distinction well in His life.
And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his [Matthew’s] house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?” (Mark 2:15-16)
And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32)

The scribes and Pharisees abhorred tax collectors and sinners and would not associate with them under any circumstances. But Jesus continually socialized with many sinners as they followed Him throughout Galilee and Judea. And the Pharisees criticized Jesus and His disciples for doing so.

These tax collectors and sinners clearly felt comfortable with Jesus, the most upright and morally strict person who ever lived. He respected them as people made in God’s image and associated with them. He was kind to them. But He did not accept their sin. He still saw that they were sinners who needed to repent of their evil deeds.

Jesus was able to condemn sin and accept the sinner. This is genuine love. This is Biblical love as described by Paul and as modeled by Jesus Himself. This is the love that leads people to repentance.

Two Errors

Today disciples of Jesus tend to make one of two errors:
1. Like the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day, we condemn not only evil deeds but also the people doing them. We properly abhor the evil, but we fail to love and honor the sinner.
2. Like many today, we accept the most perverse forms of evil in order to “love” the doer. In this case, we correctly love the person, but we fail to abhor their evil deeds. This is not genuine love without hypocrisy as the Apostle Paul described it.

The Biblically correct thing to do per Romans 12:9-10 is:
– Love and honor people;
– Hate, abhor, and oppose evil;
– Hold fast to righteousness.
These three should be done simultaneously without apology all day every day.

Questions to Ponder

1. Which is easiest and which is hardest — to love people, to hate evil, or to adhere to what is good?
2. As sinners we all are bent toward accepting evil. How do you cultivate “abhorrence of evil” instead?

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

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
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 June 26, 2019 A.D.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor. (Romans 12:9-10)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | June 19, 2019

Who Got Married at Cana?

(3 Minute Read)
Wedding at Cana

Wedding in Cana of Galilee

Is anyone you know getting married this month?

June is a very popular month for weddings. One of the best-known weddings of all time occurred 2,000 years ago in Cana of Galilee.

We know roughly when and where the wedding occurred. We know who some of the guests were. We know of something incredible that happened at the wedding that made it famous.

But do we know the identity of the happy couple?

What Made the Cana Wedding Famous?

The wedding at Cana of Galilee was the occasion when Jesus of Nazareth performed His first miracle. (John 2:1-12)

Interestingly enough, Jesus’ first miracle was a miracle of creation! He turned water into wine.

It was a fitting start to His ministry since John begins his gospel by citing Jesus’ first miracle of Creation 4,000 years earlier when He created the universe and all it contains.
All things came into being through Him [Jesus], and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. (John 1:3)

Turning water into wine is not a big deal for the Creator of the universe. But it would be a huge deal for anyone else. Thus it was a clear sign indicating Jesus’ identity.

When the wedding celebration in Cana ran out of wine, Jesus had the servants fill six large stone water jars with water. He then turned the water into wine without a word or a touch. According to the headwaiter’s evaluation, it was first-class wine.

The stone jars contained 20-30 gallons each (John 2:6). The stone jars were comparable to large garbage cans which hold about 30 gallons each. In an instant Jesus turned about 150 gallons of water into 150 gallons of excellent wine.

This was a major miracle of creation because most of the ingredients in wine are not in water. A water molecule H2O consists of two hydrogen atoms bonded to an oxygen atom. Just hydrogen and oxygen — that’s all!

Wine, however, has over 1,000 additional compounds that are not in water. Its chemistry is very complex. Wine has ethanol, glycerol, tannins, anthocyanins, phenolics, flavonols, organic acids, sugars, proteins, sulfites, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, methoxypyrazines, and many other compounds.

From where did all these different compounds come to make the wine? Jesus the Creator created them. Most of these additional compounds involve carbon atoms. Jesus had to create the carbon and all the other elements involved other than the hydrogen and oxygen in water.

To better understand just how non-trivial this water-to-wine miracle was, do this experiment.
1. Fill a small glass with water (just a cup instead of 150 gallons).
2. Next, turn the water into wine.
3. Finally, ask someone to taste and evaluate your new beverage.

Wedding in Cana of Galilee
Servants fill 6 stone water jars with water.

Was your taster impressed?

What, you couldn’t even make a small glass of wine? Not even cheap, rotgut wine? You couldn’t even do that?

Well, to be honest, I couldn’t make wine from water either when I tried the experiment. Nobody can do it but the Great Creator.

This transformation of water into wine was something the Creator alone could do. It was Jesus’ first sign to His disciples regarding His true identity as the Son of God.

A short time later a ruler of the Jews named Nicodemus, whom Jesus called “the teacher of Israel,” drew this same conclusion. He said to Jesus,
Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” (John 3:1-2, 10)

Who Got Married at Cana?

Who got married at the wedding in Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed His first miracle of turning water to wine? (John 2:1-12)

Scripture does not say who got married, so this question cannot be answered with certainty. But there are clues in Scripture which lead me to make some educated guesses. Thus what follows is speculation about the identity of the wedding couple based on the following Biblical clues.

1. Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding (John 2:2). Apparently His brothers were there as well (John 2:11-12).
2. Jesus’ mother Mary was at the wedding. She seemed to be officially involved in some capacity since she took responsibility to see about arranging for more wine when it unexpectedly ran out. Why would the lack of wine concern Mary unless she were closely connected to the wedding party?
3. The bridegroom was from Cana since he hosted the wedding celebration there (John 2:9-10).
4. The wedding occurred the day after Jesus’ conversation with His disciple Nathanael. The day John the Baptist saw Jesus was the first day (John 1:29, 35-36); the day Jesus talked with Nathanael was the second day (John 1:43-51); the day of the wedding was the third day (John 2:1).
5. Cana was Nathanael’s hometown (John 21:2).
6. Nathanael and Bartholomew are likely the same disciple, Nathanael Bar-Tolmai (son of Tolmai). John associates Nathanael with Philip (John 1:45-48) and seems to class Nathanael with the apostles (John 21:1-4). But John never mentions Bartholomew. Matthew, Mark, and Luke list Bartholomew with Philip in their apostle lists but never mention Nathanael (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-16). However in Acts, Luke puts Bartholomew and Matthew together (Acts 1:13).

Based on these clues and connections, my speculation is that the groom was Nathanael or possibly one of his brothers or close friends. I think the bride was likely one of Mary’s daughters, one of Jesus’ younger half-sisters.

Questions to Ponder

1. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus told Him, “They have no wine.” Why did Jesus say, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.”? (John 2:3-4)
2. After witnessing the water-to-wine miracle, which would be harder to believe — that Jesus was just a man or that Jesus was God?

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

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for 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 June 19, 2019 A.D.

Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him. (John 3:1-2)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | June 12, 2019

Jupiter’s Moons in June

(4 Minute Read)

Jupiter and its 4 Galilean Moons
Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto
(NASA composite image in top-down order
of increasing distance from Jupiter.)

Have you ever yearned to “discover” Jupiter’s moons, as Galileo did four centuries ago?

If so, now is the time. June is the optimal month of 2019 to view Jupiter and its moons.

Two days ago on June 10, Jupiter made its closest approach to Earth for all of 2019. Jupiter, Earth, and the sun were lined up in a straight line with Earth in the middle. Jupiter was about 398 million miles from Earth, a little over four times Sun’s distance of 93 million miles from Earth.

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the biggest one in the solar system with a mass one-thousandth that of the Sun. But its mass is two-and-a-half times the combined mass of all the other planets. Eleven Earths would fit across the face of Jupiter.

Jupiter is the fastest-spinning planet. Its day is only about 10 hours long.

Jupiter is the third-brightest object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus. All month Jupiter will be visible with the naked eye, rising in the southeast at sunset and climbing higher through the night sky before setting in the west at sunrise. The best time to see it is around midnight when it’s highest in the sky.

To help you locate Jupiter in the night sky, here are free Evening Sky Maps. Free monthly sky maps are available on the site for the northern hemisphere, the southern hemisphere, and the equatorial regions.

Jupiter’s Moons

Jupiter’s four largest moons can be seen with a pair of binoculars during June 2019. They are called Galilean moons because these are the moons Galileo saw through a telescope in 1610: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto (listed in order of increasing distance from Jupiter). Use a tripod, car roof, or tree trunk to help hold your binoculars steady.

Galileo Galilei
Discoverer of Jupiter’s
four largest moons

The four Galilean moons are solid bodies composed of rock and ice — unlike the gaseous Jupiter. They will look like tiny stars on each side of Jupiter. They will be aligned with Jupiter’s equator in almost a straight line because the Galilean moons orbit in the plane of Jupiter’s equator.

On some nights, one or more of the Galilean moons may be hard or impossible to see if they are passing behind or in front of Jupiter. But tonight (Wed June 12), all four Galilean moons will be clearly visible with binoculars. From 10 pm to 2 am EDT, Callisto and Io will be on the left while Europa, and Ganymede will be on the right. Here is an interactive online Jupiter Moons Tool to show the relative positions of the Galilean moons for any date and time from January 1, 1900 to December 31, 2100.

Jupiter has 79 known moons — more moons than any other planet in the solar system. The four Galilean moons are by far the largest. The other 75 known moons and Jupiter’s rings together comprise only 0.003% of the total orbiting mass.

Europa is the smallest of the Galilean moons and Ganymede is the largest. Io and Europa are about the size of Earth’s moon, and Ganymede and Callisto are about 50% larger. Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System with a diameter larger than that of the planet Mercury. In fact, Ganymede is 40% of Earth’s size! It would be considered a planet if it orbited the sun instead of Jupiter. Of Jupiter’s 79 known moons, 63 are less than 10 km (6.2 miles) in diameter and have only been discovered since 1975.

Laplace Resonance Animation
Shown by 3 of Jupiter’s Galilean moons.
Color flashes highlight conjunctions.
There are 2 Io-Europa conjunctions (green)
and 3 Io-Ganymede conjunctions (grey)
for each Europa-Ganymede conjunction
(magenta).

The three inner Galilean moons have “synchronized” orbits. For every four orbits by Io (each of which takes 42.5 hours), Europa orbits exactly twice, and Ganymede exactly once. This is called Laplace resonance after the French mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749–1827) who discovered the relationships of these orbits. Laplace’s mathematical and scientific abilities were so great that he was known as the French Newton.

The most volcanically active object in the Solar System is a moon — Jupiter’s moon Io. It has over 400 active volcanoes. Some of Io’s mountains are taller than Mt. Everest. NASA spacecraft flybys have shown that Io is geologically active with a “young surface with no obvious impact craters.” A “young surface” is what creationists would expect.

There are four moons that orbit Jupiter inside Io’s orbit. These four inner moons and the four Galilean moons all have almost-circular prograde orbits (they orbit in the same direction that Jupiter rotates) in Jupiter’s equatorial plane. The next group of moons are also prograde with elliptical orbits tilted with respect to Jupiter’s equatorial plane. The last group are tilted even more with much more elliptical orbits for the most part. But surprisingly, these are all retrograde, orbiting in the opposite direction of Jupiter’s rotation. How can evolutionary theories of the Jupiter system explain having moons with both prograde and retrograde orbits of many different shapes and tilts? It is impossible for evolutionary theories of the development of the solar system to explain this. It was all set in motion by the Great Creator.

Jupiter
The Great Red Spot in the lower brownish
band is a hurricane about the size of Earth
that has existed at least since the 1600s.

Significance

Seeing the Galilean moons move around Jupiter night after night gives one a sense of awe, wonder, and amazement. How did the Psalmist respond to wonders he saw in the heavens?

He responded with praise and adoration for the Great Creator.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens. 
When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, 
What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?
 (Psalm 8:1,3,4)

This should be our response as well. The wondrous harmony of the heavens should stimulate admiration and praise and honor for the Great Creator.

Moses warned the Israelites not to worship the sun, moon, and stars, no matter how amazing they may be. In fact, the penalty for such worship was stoning (Deuteronomy 17:2-5).
And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. (Deuteronomy 4:19)

The sun, moon, planets, and stars are created entities. We must be careful to worship the Creator, not any object that He made.

Questions to Ponder

1. Why did God make the planets? What purpose do they serve?
2. Did you see the Galilean moons? How did it enhance your awe of the Great Creator?

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

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
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 June 12, 2019 A.D.

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Thy name in all the earth, Who hast displayed Thy splendor above the heavens! … When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; what is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him? Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God, and dost crown him with glory and majesty! (Psalm 8:1,3-5)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | June 5, 2019

Job Gets a Dose of Apologetics

(3 Minute Read)

After Eden 20070205-JobBehemoth

Around 2000 BC the Old Testament patriarch Job was sick with doubt and questions. But the Great Creator cured him with a medicinal dose of apologetics (defending faith in God).

Job suffered tremendously as a result of physical ailments and tragedies that Yahweh permitted Satan to inflict upon Job. He lost livestock, servants, sons, and daughters to tragic deaths. He was smitten with sore boils from head to toe. Even his wife urged him, “Curse God and die.” (Job 2:9)

Throughout the book Job proclaimed his innocence, saying he had done nothing to deserve such a traumatic and painful fate.

But the Great Creator was not impressed by Job’s protestations of innocence and complaints of an unfair lot in life. He essentially told Job that he didn’t know what he was talking about when He said to Job,
Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2)

Then the Great Creator proceeded to floor Job and silence him with a series of 80 mind-blowing questions about His awesome work of creation, questions which are humanly unanswerable. (Job 38-41)

The Great Creator plied Job with questions about geology, oceanography, astronomy, biology, and climatology. Job couldn’t answer a single one, and they are still unanswerable today.

For example, Yahweh questioned Job about the processes He used in creating the earth:
“Now gird up your loins like a man,
And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding,
Who set its measurements? Since you know.
Or who stretched the line on it?
On what were its bases sunk?
Or who laid its cornerstone?”
(Job 38:3-6)

Among the complexities of creation which Yahweh cited to humble Job were questions about two terrifying dinosaurs, Behemoth (Job 40:15-24) and Leviathan (Job 41:1-34).

Behemoth was a huge beast. He had a tail like a cedar tree, bones like bronze, and limbs like bars of iron. No living creatures today match the Biblical description of Behemoth. It sounds very much like a large sauropod dinosaur such as the huge Brachiosaurus — or even the far larger Titanosaurus which dwarfed Brachiosaurus. The other creature, Leviathan, was a fire-breathing armored dinosaur. Leviathan was probably the actual, living, historical source of the legends of fire-breathing dragons of antiquity.

What was the point of God’s dozens of questions to Job? God’s purpose was to highlight the astonishing awesomeness of all of creation — heavens, earth, and creatures — all of which Yahweh created and Yahweh controls. His purpose was to demonstrate to Job that His surpassing greatness, wisdom, and power are far beyond comprehension (Job 40:7-14). Job is not to question his lot from God, for by doing so he is questioning God’s judgments (Job 40:8). He can only “entrust his soul to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.” (1 Peter 4:19)

Did Job get the point of Yahweh’s apologetics lesson? Listen to his answer! After the questions, Job answered the Lord and said,
“I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
Hear, now, and I will speak;
I will ask You, and You instruct me.
I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes.”
(Job 42:1-6)

Do You Get the Point?

The very first two questions that God asked Job are remarkably instructive in our day of worldview conflicts and confusion.
1. “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2)
2. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4)

God’s first question essentially asks Job, “Who is confusing people with false teachings and philosophies?”

The answer to that question today is this: anyone who offers “answers to life” which are not based on Scripture. What is the secret to not being deceived by any of today’s false worldviews? The secret to not being deceived is to relentlessly measure everything by the Bible! Constantly ask yourself, “Is that Biblical?” Cleave to what is true; reject what is false.

God’s second question to Job is particularly relevant in today’s struggle against the evolutionary worldview.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4)
Job has no answer of course. He was not there! The silence powerfully emphasizes God’s point. The thrust of the question is, “Were you there?”

When people spin stories about origins or the ancient past, you can target the central issue by asking, “How do you know? Were you there?” Insist that the “story” be either solidly grounded or acknowledged as speculation.

Bible believers can answer the questions, “How do you know? Were you there?” The answer is, “No, I was not there, but I have the eyewitness testimony of Someone Who was there and Who knows everything.” That is so much better than the ungrounded speculations of fallible men who were not there and who do not know everything!

“Is that Biblical?”
“How do you know?”
“Were you there?”

These are the questions that haunt the thoughts and conversations of thinking Christians. They are in essence the same questions that God asked Job. They are powerful questions that help us stay focused with a Biblical worldview in a day filled with foolishness and confusion.

Questions to Ponder

1. Which of the questions posed to Job (Job 38-41) is the most gripping for you?
2. What do you tell yourself about God’s nature when like Job you are dealing with heartache, suffering, or great loss?

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

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the sixth post in the series on Apologists in the Bible. An apologist is one who gives a logical argument in defense of faith in God.
Read the prequels:
1. Elijah Does Apologetics
2. Peter Does Apologetics
3. Paul Does Apologetics
4. John Does Apologetics
5. Jesus Does Apologetics

Read the sequel:
7. ??? Does Apologetics (coming soon . . .)

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
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 June 5, 2019 A.D.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 29, 2019

Every House Is Built by Someone

(2 Minute Read)

Have you ever seen a house that built itself?

Hebrews uses this argument as it presents the supremacy of Jesus.

For He [Jesus] has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. (Hebrews 3:3-4)

The first-century Jews esteemed Moses more than any other personage. But Hebrews says Jesus is greater than Moses because He in essence built Moses. Since the builder of a house has more honor than the house, Jesus has more honor than Moses.

Hebrews bases this on the obvious truth that “every house is built by someone.” In more general terms, every effect has a cause. And Hebrews identifies the ultimate cause of everything as God when it says “the builder of all things is God.”

The author of Hebrews was a creationist!

Hebrews concludes with a warning to believers:
Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me. (Hebrews 3:7-8)

This is a quote from Psalm 95:7-9. Hebrews quotes this passage three times in chapters three and four.

Hebrews warns and urges believers to hold fast to the true and living God, the builder of all things:
Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end. (Hebrews 3:12-14)

Questions to Ponder

1. If a house can’t build itself, can a far more complex living cell create itself from nothing?
2. In what way can you encourage a fellow believer today to hold fast?

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

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
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 May 29, 2019 A.D.

Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me,
And saw My works for forty years.”
(Hebrews 3:7-9)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 22, 2019

Jesus Does Apologetics

(5 Minute Read)

Did you know that Jesus did apologetics while He walked the earth over 2,000 years ago?

He made astonishing claims that at first seem unbelievable. But He gave powerful arguments in defense of those claims. Many passages in the gospels could be referenced, but John 5 and John 10 are the ones I’ll discuss to illustrate Jesus’ approach to apologetics (defending His claims).

The Claim

Jesus of Nazareth claimed equality with God. Claiming equality with God is claiming to be God, as His contemporaries fully understood.
For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. (John 5:18)
“I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” (John 10:30-33)

Even in the face of attempts to kill him, Jesus did not backpedal. Jesus did not answer the Jews by saying,
“Oh, no. You misunderstood Me. I don’t claim to be God.”
On the contrary, He doubled down on their accusation by explicitly claiming attributes of deity.

Jesus Claims Attributes of Deity

1. Jesus does the same things that God the Father does in the same way.
Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. (John 5:19)

2. Jesus knows (sees) everything that God the Father does.
For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. (John 5:20)

3. Jesus raises the dead.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. (John 5:21)
Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. (John 5:25-29)

4. God the Father has delegated all judgment to Jesus.
For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son. (John 5:22)

5. Honoring Jesus is equivalent to honoring God the Father.
All will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. (John 5:23)

6. Believing Jesus results in eternal life.
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. (John 5:24)

Jesus Defends His Claims

These are mind -blowing claims! How did Jesus defend such radical claims? Jesus based His case on the testimony of four witnesses: John the Baptist, Miracles, God the Father, and Scripture.

1. The testimony of John the Baptist
You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. But the testimony which I receive is not from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. (John 5:33-35)

John the Baptist was sent by God as an advance man to prepare the way for the Messiah. He clearly testified to Jesus’ identity as the Son of God and Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:29-34)

Many came to Him and were saying, “While John performed no sign, yet everything John said about this man was true.” (John 10:41)

Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt

Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee
by Rembrandt, 1633
Jesus stopped the storm (Matthew 8:23-27)
“Who then is this that even winds and sea
obey him?” asked His disciples.

2. The evidence of miracles
Jesus pointed to His miracles (works) as evidence He had been sent by God.
But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish — the very works that I do — testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me. (John 5:36)
The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. (John 10:24-25)
If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” (John 10:37-38)

There are over 30 miracles by Jesus recorded in gospels by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. But this is only a small selection from those that Jesus actually did. For the Apostle John says
Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:30-31)
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written. (John 21:25)

These amazing works of Jesus, like healing the man born blind and raising the dead, are mind-blowing miracles. These miracles are crucial evidences, because who could do these things except God? Ordinary humans cannot do them. They must be from God. They are evidence that the claims of Jesus are true.

3. The testimony of God the Father
And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form. You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. (John 5:37-38)

God the Father testified to Jesus at His baptism and at His transfiguration.
After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:5)

4. The testimony of Scripture
Jesus said that the Old Testament Scriptures speak of Him and that believing Moses’ writings is equivalent to believing Jesus’ words.
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me. . . . Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:39,45-47)

The Old Testament Scriptures from Genesis through Malachi speak of the Messiah. On the Emmaus road after the Resurrection Jesus explained to two disciples how the Scriptures testify to Him.
And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:25-27)

Conclusion

Jesus explicitly claimed to be God. Plus, He claimed attributes that belong to God alone. In support of these claims He cited John the Baptist, His miracles, God the Father, and Old Testament Scriptures.

Whoever believes in Jesus has passed from death to life (John 3:16; 5:24).

Questions to Ponder

1. Which of the four witnesses that Jesus cites in John 5 is the most compelling for you?
2. Which of the attributes of deity listed above is most impressive to you?

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

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the fifth post in the series on Apologists in the Bible. An apologist is one who gives a logical argument in defense of faith in God.
Read the prequels:
1. Elijah Does Apologetics
2. Peter Does Apologetics
3. Paul Does Apologetics
4. John Does Apologetics

Read the sequel:
6. Job Gets a Dose of Apologetics

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
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 May 22, 2019 A.D.

Jesus: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 15, 2019

John Does Apologetics

(6 Minute Read)

Because the book of John is quite familiar, have you overlooked the drama of its driving purpose?
Do you know the gripping and compelling reason for the fourth Gospel?
Do you know why many people were not convinced by the miracles John reports?

The Apostle John wrote as an apologist (defender) of Christianity with the explicit intent to persuade readers that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of all who believe in Him. He clearly stated his purpose for writing about Jesus’ deeds:
These have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:31)

What was John’s primary evidence for his claims about Jesus?

He based his case on the miracles of Jesus which he personally witnessed. John referred to the miracles as signs because he viewed them as messages from God the Father authenticating the claims of Jesus. (John 2:11)

Nine Signs of John — Miracles of Jesus

1. Turned water into wine at Cana (John 2:1-11)
2. Healed a royal official’s son at Capernaum from Cana (John 4:46-54)
3. Healed a cripple at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-9)
4. Fed 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish (John 6:1-14)
5. Walked on water (John 6:16-21)
6. Healed the man born blind (John 9:1-41)
7. Raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-53)
8. Rose from the dead (John 20:1-29)
9. Appeared at Sea of Galilee; filled net with fish (John 21:1-14)

Because these nine are such an impressive array of divine-nature deeds, and because they are so prominent in Scripture for validating the identity of the Lord Jesus Christ, I had a large handwritten poster of this list hanging from the rafters of our family room for over 20 years. My wife never complained about that rustic banner, because to her the content was so elegant. She said she was always glad to read those beautiful items over and over. She wanted never to forget those lovely deeds and the majestic Savior who showed Himself through them.

These signs are all amazing, miraculous works that the Apostle John personally witnessed. He presents these works as evidence that the claims of Jesus are true.

John urges — even commands — belief in Jesus because he gives his readers solid evidence in support of Jesus’ claims. The Apostle John offers empirical evidence, not fantasy. Along with many others, John saw these miraculous works, and he reports them as historical facts that really happened in space-time history.
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:29)
This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. (1 John 3:23. See also John 3:18; 6:29; 8:24; 12:36; 14:1)

These miracles are crucial evidences, because who could do these things except God? This fact was clearly recognized at the time by both friends and enemies of Jesus.

For example, in the healing of the man born blind in John 9, the Jewish leaders did not believe it at first because such a thing was obviously impossible.
The Jews then did not believe it of him, that he had been blind and had received sight, until they called the parents of the very one who had received his sight, and questioned them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?” His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.” (John 9:18-21)

The man born blind gave the Jews a definitive answer and explanation — which actually applies quite well to all the miracles of Jesus. In questioning the man born blind, the Jews refused to admit that Jesus came from God. So the man replied,
“Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” (John 9:30-33)

The man born blind was right. He clearly saw that his healing was proof that Jesus was God, and the man born blind worshiped Jesus.
Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.” And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. (John 9:35-38)

The Apostle John selected for his gospel only a few signs out of the many that Jesus did. John says many more could have been included. A few of the signs not mentioned by John are reported in the other three gospels by Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book. (John 20:30)
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written. (John 21:25)

Why Did People Refuse to Believe the Signs?

Despite the multitude of signs and miracles that Jesus performed, many people still did not believe that He was the Son of God and Savior of the world. How could this be? Why wouldn’t everybody who saw His signs believe?

Hard as it may be to grasp, Yahweh Himself takes responsibility for blinding eyes and hardening hearts so that people will not believe. John reports:
But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, “He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.” These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him. (John 12:37-41)

In fact, all four gospel writers and the Apostle Paul give the same explanation. See Matthew 13:13-15; Mark 4:10-12; Luke 8:10; John 12:37-41; Romans 11:8-10; Acts 28:24-28; 2 Corinthians 3:14-15; Isaiah 6:8-10.

The Apostle Paul goes into great detail in the book of Romans in order to explain the sovereignty of God over the human heart:
What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. (Romans 9:14-24)

The Jews of Jesus’ day were not the first to have their hearts hardened by God. Six times Scripture says that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt so that he would not release the nation of Israel from slavery in Egypt. (Exodus 9:12; 10:1; 10:20; 10:27; 11:10; 14:8)
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them. (Exodus 10:1)
Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; yet the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go out of his land. (Exodus 11:10)

These passages teach that God, not man, is sovereign over the human heart. God opens or blinds men’s eyes as He pleases for His own purposes.

Truthful Eyewitness

John emphasized that he was a truthful eyewitness of these stupendous events:
This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true. (John 21:24)
But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20)
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life — and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us — what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
(1 John 1:1-5)

John also included apologetic arguments and discourses by Jesus. These will be discussed later in a separate blog article entitled Jesus Does Apologetics.

Conclusion

In summary, the Apostle John implemented a three-pronged strategy for persuading readers to believe in Jesus:
1. Personal experience and reliable testimony — John personally testified about what he himself actually both saw Jesus do and heard Jesus say. He claimed to be a reliable eyewitness of historic events.
2. Miracles — John reported miracles he saw Jesus perform that God alone could do.
3. Discourses — John reported Jesus’ own words in which He stated and defended His claims (Jesus Does Apologetics).

The Apostle John underscored the essence of the Gospel and laid out an unassailable defense of Jesus’ identity in his gospel. His apologetic was based on historical miracles, culminating in the Resurrection of Jesus, that actually happened on earth at specific times. John experienced these events first-hand and testified to their reality. John emphasized his eyewitness testimony — the very best type of evidence historically and legally.

The Christian faith is firmly grounded in history, and history makes a difference. Actions and events have consequences which reverberate throughout time. The central events of the Christian faith, Christ’s crucifixion and His bodily resurrection, are well-attested facts of history that happened on this earth in the city of Jerusalem nearly 2000 years ago. This authenticity is crucial, for if either event did not happen, then Christianity is false and we are still in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17-19).

According to John, Jesus said, “Because I live, you shall live also.” (John 14:19) True hope for the future is grounded on the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

The Gospel by which we are saved is bedrocked on actual historical events. Christ solved the sin problem by His death. The Resurrection proved He conquered death.

Questions to Ponder

1. Which miracle (sign) in John is compelling enough for you to discuss it with a friend or colleague today?
2. Are there works of God today that people refuse to believe?
3. What arguments in defense of Christianity do you prefer for influencing a present-day skeptic?

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

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the fourth post in the series on Apologists in the Bible.
Read the prequels:
1. Elijah Does Apologetics
2. Peter Does Apologetics
3. Paul Does Apologetics

Read the sequel:
5. Jesus Does Apologetics

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
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 May 15, 2019 A.D.

Jesus: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Older Posts »

Categories

%d bloggers like this: