Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | August 14, 2019

Judging a Chief Justice

(5 Minute Read)

Chief Justice Fred Vinson

For the most part, Americans have been taught to respect and honor judges. We are told that they are very intelligent people who know how to think clearly and can properly decide complex issues under dispute.

But is this true? Can judges always be trusted to render correct decisions? Are judges infallible on the bench?

I think not. The very fact that we have so many 5-4 and 6-3 decisions by the Supreme Court is evidence against the idea that judges can routinely decide cases correctly.

Chief Justice Fred Vinson

Frederick “Fred” Moore Vinson (1890–1953) served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States for seven years (June 21, 1946 – September 8, 1953) till his unexpected death of a heart attack. Harlan F. Stone preceded Vinson, and Earl Warren succeeded him.

Vinson was nominated for Chief Justice by President Harry Truman. He was confirmed by the US Senate exactly two weeks later. During Vinson’s tenure on the Supreme Court, he wrote 77 opinions and 13 dissents.

Fred Vinson is one of only a few people who served in all three branches of the federal government. In addition to his service in the judiciary, he also served in the legislative branch in the US House for 12 years as a representative from Kentucky (1924-1928, 1930-1937). He was Secretary of the Treasury for one year in the executive branch under Truman (1945-1946).

Vinson is the last Chief Justice to have been appointed by a Democratic president. He is also the last Chief Justice to lead a court whose justices were nominated solely by presidents of one political party. The Supreme Court justices in the Vinson Court were all appointed by Democrats Roosevelt and Truman.

What Did Chief Justice Vinson Say?

Chief Justice Fred Vinson wrote the majority opinion in Dennis v. United States. With this 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Smith Act (1940). This law made it a crime to advocate the violent overthrow of the government or to organize or be a member of any group committed to such. The Court said the First Amendment does not protect speech that seeks to overthrow the United States government.

In his majority opinion, Chief Justice Vinson wrote this:

“Nothing is more certain in modern society than the principle that there are no absolutes. . . . All concepts are relative.”
(Fred M. Vinson, Dennis v. United States, Section III, June 4, 1951.)

What an absolutely astonishing statement!!!

Did Chief Justice Vinson realize that by saying, “There are no absolutes,” he was making an absolute statement? Didn’t he realize that “All concepts are relative” is an absolute statement delineating a non-relative concept? His statements are inherently self-contradictory and therefore false.

Vinson believed there were no absolutes. I wonder if he was absolutely sure about this.

In Vinson’s Dennis v. United States decision, he also wrote,

“Overthrow of the Government by force and violence is certainly a substantial enough interest for the Government to limit speech. Indeed, this is the ultimate value of any society, for if a society cannot protect its very structure from armed internal attack, it must follow that no subordinate value can be protected.”

Here Vinson talks about an ultimate value despite saying shortly before in the same decision that there are no absolutes and everything is relative.

Vinson’s “Nothing is more certain . . .” statement is fundamentally a denial that truth exists. Such a denial is inherently self-contradictory and therefore false.

Upholding a stable government is important, and it is a legitimate concern of the Supreme Court. But a judge must not use self-contradictory statements and fundamentally illogical thinking to uphold any precept, no matter how valued.

Judging Chief Justice Vinson’s View

This was the chief jurist of the United States making these illogical and contradictory statements! Amazingly, apparently, no one noticed — not the other justices on the Supreme Court, not the Court’s law clerks, not the media. In fact, five other Justices on the Supreme Court concurred with Vinson’s opinion.

Every man did what was right
in his own eyes. (Judges 17:6)

Apparently no one said,
“Hey, wait a minute — if there are no absolutes, and if all concepts are relative, then what you just described as certain … cannot be certain!”

The reason no one noticed is that this fallacious worldview,
“No absolutes — everything relative,”
had been widely accepted by 1950. This wide acceptance is evident from Vinson’s own words describing this worldview as, “Nothing is more certain in modern society.”

The job of a judge is to decide right from wrong. How is that possible if the judge believes there are no absolutes? How can he decide that anything is wrong? If there are no absolutes, then there is no standard for deciding right from wrong. Decisions are made based on a judge’s personal preference.

What about today? Compared to 70 years ago in Vinson’s day, this view of “No absolutes — everything relative” is even more widely accepted now! In his decision Vinson proclaimed a self-contradictory falsehood as truth. This lie has become the fundamental belief of American society today.

When one starts with a false worldview, the consequences are predictably disastrous. Swallowing “There are no absolutes and everything is relative” has caused the devolution of American society and culture.

If There Are No Absolutes

If there are no absolutes, then nothing can be judged as wrong. Also, without absolutes, nothing can be deemed right.

If there is no absolute standard for right and wrong, how can you say mass shootings are wrong?
If there are no absolutes, how can you say racism is wrong?
If there are no absolutes, how can you say adultery is right or wrong?
If there are no absolutes, how can you say child abuse is wrong?
If there are no absolutes, how can you say abortion is right or wrong?
If there are no absolutes, how can you say stealing is wrong?
If there are no absolutes, how can you say murder is wrong?
If there are no absolutes, how can you say drug abuse is wrong?
If there are no absolutes, how can you say gender confusion is right or wrong?

There Are Absolutes

But we do know these things are wrong. The reason we know these things are wrong is because there is a standard of right and wrong. Contrary to Vinson’s opinion, truth does exist. There are absolutes. Contrary to Vinson’s opinion, all concepts are not relative.

For example, the laws of mathematics & physics & chemistry are not relative. Bank statements and traffic lights and tax assessments are not relative. The reality of the real world proves truth and absolutes exist.

People who deny absolutes as Chief Justice Vinson did are simply suppressing the truth they fundamentally know.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20)

The Great Creator, the God of the Bible, is the source and definer of truth. It is impossible to define Truth without reference to God.

Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God and Creator of the universe, claimed not just to know the truth, but to be truth. He said,
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

Therefore, the greatest Man who ever lived, believed in absolutes. He believed truth exists. And He wants His followers to know the truth. According to Jesus, the way to know truth is to live in His Word. He said,
“If you continue in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

The moral law of the Great Creator given in the Bible is the standard for right and wrong. This is the authoritative standard for morality specified by our Great Creator. And He imprinted that standard on each human heart. It’s a non-relative absolute.
They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.
(Romans 2:15 ESV)

That’s why humans instinctively know that acts like theft and murder are wrong.

Morality and absolutes are not a matter of personal opinion — whether it’s the opinion of the Chief Justice, the opinion of the President, or the opinion of any private citizen. Following personal opinion instead of God’s absolutes leads to death.
There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
(Proverbs 14:12)

Absolutes are set by the Great Creator. We defy them to our own peril.

Questions to Ponder

1. Is your worldview philosophically and logically consistent?
2. How can you uphold the Great Creator‘s truth in your sphere of influence?

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. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

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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 14, 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)

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Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | August 7, 2019

Beets & Jesus

(2 Minute Read)

Baby Eating Beets

How are Beets and Jesus alike?

Until quite recently I hated, absolutely hated, beets!

Now I love beets, including beet greens! I am so eager to see beets on my plate for dinner. I love them boiled, baked, and especially pickled. I love blanched beet greens!

What happened? What caused me to change from strong hate to intense love?

Answer:
My wife related to me material she had read about how nutritious beets are.

In a nutshell, what caused me to change was the information about how beets are nutritionally very good for you. I simply changed my mind and decided to like beets.

Beets

Health expert and best-selling author Dr. Joseph Mercola said this about beets:
“While beets contain more sugar than any other vegetable on the table, they’re low in calories, fat, and cholesterol. They’re also an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, and folate, which helps make and maintain RNA and DNA cells and prevent anemia. They also contain potassium, which is necessary for building muscle and regulating the heart’s electrical activity, and manganese, which helps maintain muscle and nerve function, build bone strength, regulate blood sugar levels, and promote a healthy immune system.”
(From Mercola, What Are Beets Good For? October 11, 2016)

According to Dr. Mercola, research studies have identified many good things about eating beets including these aspects:
– Reduces the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.
– Inhibits tumor growth.
– Increases blood flow to the brain which then retards degeneration of brain cells.
– Rich in phytonutrients with detoxification, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties which help control high blood pressure and heart attack risks.
– One of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin which are beneficial for healthy eyes.
– Beet greens are also very nutritious as they are rich in iron.

Beets & Jesus

Just as I changed my mind about beets because they are good for me, maybe people should change their mind about Jesus because He is good for them. In particular, going to heaven is healthier than going to hell. Eternal life is better than eternal death. And Jesus offers abundant life. He said,
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
(John 10:9-10)

From Scripture we know that in order to turn to Christ, the supernatural internal work of God’s Spirit is absolutely necessary (John 16:7-11; John 6:44; Ephesians 2:1-10). It is a mystery of God’s sovereign grace. But from the point of view of human experience, each person is commanded to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as a deliberate act of the will (Acts 17:30-31; Acts 3:19; 1 John 3:23).

It’s something to think about. You can choose to change your mind and choose to follow Jesus, just as I changed my mind and decided to like beets.

Questions to Ponder

1. Have you ever changed your mind from a negative opinion to a positive opinion? How difficult was it?
2. Have you ever told God that you are “willing to be made willing” to believe in Jesus? Jesus responded when an afflicted boy’s father called out to Him, “Help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).

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.

Photo Credits:
Baby eating beets by michael.matuzak on flickr.
Beets by woodleywonderworks on flickr.

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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 7, 2019 A.D.

So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. (John 10:7-9)

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Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | July 31, 2019

Kepler for President: Grins & Growls #2

(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.

The Flame of Truth

If you’ve been keeping up with the excitement of my presidential campaign, you know my slogan by now:
Alere Flammam Veritatis.
This Latin phrase means
Nourish the Flame of Truth
or
Let the Flame of Truth Shine.

If this thrilling development is news to you, let me summarize: Three weeks ago in Kepler for President, I announced that I am running for President of the United States of America.

Somebody Has to Say It!

I kicked off my campaign two weeks ago with some Grins & Growls that reflect my “thinkings” on a smorgasbord of issues. I want my people to understand my positions so that they can intelligently support my campaign for president.

I have been a “thinker” from just a young puppy. Here are some more of my “thinkings.” If some of my views offend you, remember, I’m just a dog. But hey, somebody has to say it! Woof! Woof!

Immigration

I am very much in favor of legal immigration, especially well-educated, hard-working immigrants with important skills. We don’t need deadbeats.

Why am I so strongly in favor of legal immigration?

The reason is that every single one of us in America is either an immigrant or a descendant of immigrants.

There was absolutely nobody here in America after Noah’s Flood. The earth had been wiped completely clean by Noah’s Flood. Noah and his sons disembarked from the ark on Mt. Ararat in Turkey. Eventually, after the dispersion from the Tower of Babel, some of Noah’s descendants settled in America as immigrants.

Even those that some people call “native Americans” are descendants of immigrants. The only true “native Americans” are those who were born in America — like me. “Native” means “born in.”

I am opposed to the presence of illegal aliens. They should be sent back to their home countries. American laws are important and should be respected. People who break the law to enter America signal a lack of respect for our laws. What other laws will they break after they are here?

Guns

The Second Amendment to the Constitution says:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Kepler for President

The right of the people to keep and bear arms is assumed to be a fact. The thrust of the amendment is not to grant this inalienable right, but rather to ensure that the right shall not be infringed.

The phrase “shall not be infringed” means that no limitations, conditions, or restrictions can be placed on the right to own and bear arms.

Do judges and legislators not know what “shall not be infringed” means? They know very well. They just don’t like what the amendment says.

To make an analogy, suppose this were one of the Constitutional Amendments:
“A well-educated populace being necessary to the security of a free country, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed.”

If that were an amendment, then
– Wouldn’t it be an unconstitutional infringement to pass a law that only people with a high school diploma could own books?
– Wouldn’t it be an unconstitutional infringement to pass a law that people could not read religious books?
– Wouldn’t it be an unconstitutional infringement to pass a law that only government-licensed publishers were allowed to produce textbooks?

I think you can see my point. All our existing and proposed gun laws are unconstitutional infringements on the right of people to keep and bear arms.

The Second Amendment is part of the original Bill of Rights which enshrined in the Constitution the inalienable rights of man bestowed by the Great Creator. The Second Amendment is a most important right because it prevents the government from imposing tyranny on a free people who have the power to resist.

It is significant that almost all mass shootings have been in gun-free zones. There would be far less gun violence if courts and legislators had not infringed on the people’s right to keep and bear arms.

Many of my opponents in the other party who are running for president say health care is a right, and they want the government to pay for it. Constitutionally, the right to guns is far more clear than the right to health care. Would my opponents support the government buying guns for everyone, just as they want the government to buy health care for everyone?

The ultimate goal of the infringers is to disarm people and demote Americans from free citizens of a constitutional republic to beholden subjects of a socialist government.

As president, I pledge to support and uphold the entire Constitution, including eliminating infringements on the Second Amendment.

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

Animals

As an animal (dog) myself, what is my campaign’s position on animals?

Even though I’m a dog, I do not support PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). PETA doesn’t simply stand for proper treatment of animals, something which Master and I both support. PETA seeks to erase the distinction between people and animals by claiming, “We are all animals.” How silly! PETA opposes eating animals, wearing clothing made from animals, and laboratory experimentation on animals — even when it’s for human benefit.

Master likes to tease PETA shirt wearers by playing dumb and asking if it stands for “People Eating Tasty Animals.” He tells them he likes animals too — on his plate with mashed potatoes and gravy.

As Master points out, only people were made in God’s image, not animals. So humans and animals are totally different. And God gave mankind authority to rule over animals (Genesis 1:26-28).

Even I know that the bumper stickers we see proclaiming “Dogs Are People Too!” are baloney. I would not want to be a “people.” People noses just don’t work worth a flip. I would rather have a good nose than eyes or ears.

Following Noah’s Flood, God even gave man the right to eat animals. Speaking to Noah and his sons, God said,
“The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.” (Genesis 9:2-3)

Master says the Great Creator made each creature, from amoeba to man, for its own place and purpose in Creation. My place is to be a dog, and I bring glory to my Creator just by being a dog and exercising my capabilities to serve Master and Missus as best I can — because this is what my Creator created me to be and to do. Master says the Great Creator is the Big Boss, and what He says and ordains is final.

Decisions

If elected President of the United States, I will have to make many decisions that will affect millions of people, both in the US and all over the world. But the effect of these decisions will be confined to this life.

But every voter and every reader of this blog has a much more momentous decision to make than any of my presidential decisions. It’s one that will have ramifications throughout eternity.

Here is the momentous decision everybody must make:
What will you decide about Jesus of Nazareth?

Kepler for President

So that’s how things look from the Dog House! This post along with the previous post, Kepler for President: Grins & Growls #1, summarize my “thinkings” on some of the big issues of the day. I hope this is enough to earn your vote for president.

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.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 38th 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 9-38 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
37. Kepler for President: Grins & Growls #1

Read the sequel:
39. Kepler ??? coming soon . . .

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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 31, 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)

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Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | July 24, 2019

Matthew Does Apologetics with a Sword

(2 Minute Read)

Apologetics is the defense of trust in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the world using evidence, reason, and logic.

The Apostle Matthew used a different approach to apologetics than any approach we’ve considered so far in this Apologists in the Bible series.

Scan through the first four chapters of Matthew’s gospel (Matthew 1-4) in order to answer the following question about Matthew’s approach.

Question:
What did Matthew do 12 times in his first four chapters?

Answer:
Matthew quoted from the Old Testament 12 times (counting the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1 as a single reference). Eight of the twelve times, including the genealogy, were references to show that Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah. Throughout his gospel, Matthew used this “fulfilled prophecy” approach to show that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah.

The genealogy proved that Jesus, like the promised Messiah, was a descendant of King David. Matthew continued to cite messianic prophecies from the Old Testament that Jesus fulfilled in order to build his case that Jesus was the long-promised Messiah and Savior of Israel.

For example, Matthew cited the prophecy that the Messiah would be virgin-born (Matthew 1:18-25), that He would be born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:4-6), and that He would come out of Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15). Even the fulfillment of just these three prophecies of very unlikely events is compelling evidence that Jesus of Nazareth must be the promised Messiah. This was Matthew’s point in identifying Jesus’ fulfillment of so many messianic prophecies.

Of course, this was not the only apologetic technique Matthew used in presenting his case for Jesus as Messiah. He also reported numerous miracles that Jesus performed and many discourses that Jesus delivered. This includes one of His most well-known miracles, the Feeding of the Five Thousand (Matthew 14:15-21), and the most famous sermon of all time, the Sermon on the Mount.

After the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew reported of Jesus, “The crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.” (Matthew 7:28-29)

Do You Get the Point?

How should we follow Matthew’s pattern today?

Use the sword of the Spirit! (Ephesians 6:17) Base our proclamation of the gospel on Scripture, just as Matthew based his proclamation on the Old Testament, the Scripture of his day.

This excerpt from one of the Apostle Peter’s sermons in Acts is one of many good starting points:
You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 10:38-43)

Questions to Ponder

1. Which of Matthew’s messianic fulfilled prophecies is the most compelling for you?
2. Why is “Sword” in the title of this blog? (Hint: Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12)

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 seventh 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
6. Job Gets a Dose of Apologetics

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

Bible-Science Guy logo

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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 24, 2019 A.D.

Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:22-23)

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 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. To continue reading about my campaign positions, click Kepler for President: Grins & Growls #2.

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

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.

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 sequels:
37. Kepler for President: Grins & Growls #1
38. Kepler for President: Grins & Growls #2

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.

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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 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
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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 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.

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