Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 22, 2015

Questions That Reveal

What if you sent your child to a school that you thought shared your values, only to find out later that it undermined your teaching?

ChristianCollege

What if you began attending a church and formed strong friendships, only to later find out that the church held some unbiblical beliefs?

Have you ever wished you could zero in on the position of a Christian church, school, or organization? Frequently it’s difficult to cut through the warm-fuzzies talk, the inspirational fluff, and the Christianized cliches in order to find out the real truth.

It may not be easy to determine what the leaders of an organization truly believe. Often administrators, pastors, or faculty will tell you what they think you want to hear.

I use a Three Question approach to drill down to the essentials of an organization’s worldview with “where the rubber meets the road” style questions.

Discussing Questions

Specific questions keep the discussion focused

For each question, I put one answer on the left side of the paper and the opposing answer on the right with a horizontal line connecting them. I ask the interviewee to mark where they stand on the continuum between the two given answers.

Reluctance to indicate a position on the spectrum is in itself quite revealing, and I accept it without pushing too hard for a response. Often the discussion of the spectrum of answers provides abundant information on the interviewee’s position.

Practical Worldview Questions

These five trenchant questions will help you quickly discern the worldview of any person or organization. I usually limit myself to three of the five questions below.

Theological Jello

1. How old is the earth?
Left side answer: 4.5 billion years old
Right side answer: 6,000 years old

2. How did life and the earth originate?
Left side answer: God used evolution to create over long ages of time.
Right side answer: God created everything in six literal days.

3. How do you view homosexuality?
Left side answer: Homosexuality is a valid alternative lifestyle and homosexual “marriage” is legitimate.
Right side answer: The practice of homosexuality is sin and forbidden by God in the Bible. Marriage is only between a man and a woman.

4. Are there gender roles in the home and church?
Left side answer: Gender roles do not exist; all jobs and leadership roles may be filled by either gender.
Right side answer: God created men and women to fill distinct roles. Men lead homes and churches; women help them.

5. Are divorce and remarriage permissible?
Left side answer: Everybody makes mistakes and deserves a second chance. Divorce and remarriage are allowed.
Right side answer: God’s plan for marriage is one man for one woman for life. Scripture does not permit remarriage after divorce.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Which is your favorite question? Why?
  2. What other questions help reveal the worldview of a person or organization?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday April 22, 2015 A.D.

By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:3)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 15, 2015

20. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 4

Billy Sunday At White House

Billy Sunday at the White House
Exhibits typical exuberance (Feb 20, 1922)

Evangelist Billy Sunday boiled with scorn, contempt, and invective for the theory of evolution. He was not shy about expressing himself on that point.

Sunday had been a nationwide sports sensation; he was one of the country’s most popular athletes as a major league baseball player. After leaving baseball at the height of his career in March 1891 to preach the Gospel, he eventually became the country’s most popular preacher.

Billy Sunday (1862-1935) mesmerized crusade audiences for 40 years with his rapid-fire delivery, colorful denunciations of sins, and on-stage dramatics. He impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands for eternity.

The previous three articles on Billy Sunday covered his two careers:
1. Billy Sunday’s Baseball Career
2. Billy Sunday’s Ministry Career
3. Billy Sunday’s Teachings That Snap and Crackle
This concluding article features some of Billy Sunday’s sizzling statements about the theory of evolution. He expressed strong opinions with vocabulary that was quite uncharacteristic for preachers.

Sunday On Creation & Evolution

Billy Sunday was a firm creationist, and he strongly opposed the biological theory of evolution because it contradicted the literal interpretation of Genesis. He believed God created Adam and Eve as real individual people who were the father and mother of the entire human race.

“God created Adam and Eve without human agencies. … I do not believe there ever was a time, since Adam and Eve were turned out of Eden, when traps and pitfalls were more numerous and dangerous than today.”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “Spiritual Food for a Hungry World“)

Billy Sunday Preaching, ~1910

Billy Sunday Preaching, ~1910
He preached for 40 years to over
100 million in tabernacles holding up
to 20,000 without electric amplifiers.

Sunday saw a distinction between the experimental, testable science that leads to technological advances and scientists’ speculation about unrepeatable events of history. He said,

“If by evolution you mean advance, I go with you, but if you mean by evolution that I came from a monkey, good night!”
(Billy Sunday, Boston Herald, November 14, 1916, p. 1.)

Billy Sunday believed the Word of God should control one’s thinking rather than the research of fallible men. According to a stenographer’s sermon transcript, Sunday said,

“I don’t believe your own bastard theory of evolution, either; I believe it’s pure jackass nonsense. When the consensus of scholarship says one thing and the Word of God another, the consensus of scholarship can go plumb to hell for all I care.”
(Algie Martin Simons, Charles H. Kerr, The International Socialist Review, Volume 16, Charles H. Kerr & Company, 1915, p. 465.)

Billy Sunday condemned evolution and evolutionists in the most blistering terms. He even castigated preachers who shilly-shallied and compromised with evolution:

“In no century since the morning stars sang together has there been more real hunger for genuine religion than this. And yet, many a preacher, instead of trying to feed this spiritual hunger, is giving some book review, staking a claim out on Jupiter or talking evolution, trying to prove we came from a monkey with his prehensile tail wrapped around a limb shying coconuts at his neighbor across the alley.”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “Spiritual Food for a Hungry World“)

In a 1925 interview Sunday said,

“If a minister believes and teaches evolution, he is a stinking skunk, a hypocrite, and a liar.”
(Charles Lincoln Van Doren, Robert McHenry, Webster’s Guide to American History: A Chronological, Geographical, and Biographical Survey and Compendium, Merriam-Webster, 1971, 1428 pp, p. 423.)

Billy Sunday Douglas Fairbanks

Billy Sunday & Douglas Fairbanks
At 1918 exhibition baseball game to raise funds for
sports equipment for American soldiers in France

When Rev. George Wallace of Toledo, OH privately rebuked Sunday for his outspoken intolerance of evolution, Sunday publicly called out the pastor the next day from the crusade platform:

“Stand up you there you bastard evolutionist! Stand up with the atheists and the infidels and the whoremongers and the adulterers and go to hell!”
(Higgs, Robert, God in the Stadium: Sports and Religion in America, University Press of Kentucky, 1995, page 255.)

Many Christian leaders repeatedly and emphatically criticized Billy Sunday for language such as this. But Jesus Himself used extremely strong language against the false teachers of His day. He called the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites and sons of hell despite their fervent evangelistic efforts:
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel about on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” (Matthew 23:15)

Jesus said the false teachers were like graves full of old corpses. To His audience, this was the ultimate in contamination and impurity.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:27,28)

Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father.” (John‬ ‭8:44‬) You can’t criticize someone more harshly than this. Jesus did not beat around the bush and neither did Billy Sunday.

Jesus also called the scribes and Pharisees serpents, a brood of vipers, and said explicitly that they were under a sentence of hell.
You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell?” (Matthew 23:33)

Some may cringe at hearing a preacher speak the way Billy Sunday spoke, but Jesus Himself spoke similarly to men who were deceptive and misleading in teaching abominable falsehoods. Sunday was simply following Jesus’ example when he criticized those who promoted a theory that led many astray and that denied God the glory of creation.

Another time Sunday said,

“I don’t believe in the bastard theory that men came from protoplasm by the fortuitous concurrence of atoms.”
(McLoughlin, William G., Billy Sunday Was His Real Name, The University of Chicago Press, 1955, p. 132.)

In the book The Great Monkey Trial by L. Sprague de Camp (p. 34), Sunday is quoted as calling evolution “bunk, junk, and poppycock!” as he leaped about the stage.

In 1923 during a six-week revival, he campaigned against teaching evolution in the schools of Louisville, KY. This followed the defeat of an anti-evolution bill in the state legislature in 1922.

In 1924 in Elmira, New York, Billy Sunday expressed his opinion about teaching evolution in government schools:

“If anyone wants to teach that God-forsaken, hell-born, bastard theory of evolution, then let him go out and let him be supported by men who believe that blasted theory and not expect the Christian people of this country to pay for the teaching of a rotten, stinking professor who gets up there and teaches our children to forsake God and makes our schools a clearing-house for their God-forsaken dirty politics.”
(Turner, Daniel, Standing Without Apology: The History of Bob Jones University, Bob Jones University Press, 1997, page 19.)

Where did the theory of evolution originate?
According to Billy Sunday, it was “hell-born.” I agree with Sunday. I think it originated in the mind of Satan, and he has been using it to deceive men throughout the ages. After all, as Jesus said, the devil is “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Evolution is Satan’s primary tool to lead mankind away from God.

W J Bryan Billy Sunday

William Jennings Bryan, Billy Sunday
1915 photo when Bryan was
Secretary of State under Wilson

Billy Sunday held revival meetings in Tennessee during the passage of Tennessee’s anti-evolution Butler Act which provoked the Scopes Trial. Throughout those meetings he strongly opposed the teaching of evolution. He told rapt crowds at Tennessee revival meetings in ​February 1925, “Education today is chained to the Devil’s throne.”​

Because of Sunday’s well-known opposition to Evolution and his support of Creation, William Jennings Bryan asked Billy Sunday to testify at the July 1925 Scopes Trial. Sunday declined, while assuring Bryan that “all the believing world is back of you in your defense of Christ and the Bible.”

Therefore…

We could use a preacher like Billy Sunday again – a man with active faith in the Creator, one who fearlessly proclaimed the truth, one with deep concern for his fellow man, and one who did not bore his listeners but rather challenged them to repent and follow Christ with “love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:23). We need pastors today who are electrified with the kind of vigorous, unapologetic Biblical preaching that Billy Sunday did. Sunday believed in the Creator, the God of the Bible, and he lived his life by the dictates of that Book. Billy Sunday was not duped by the evolutionism that deludes so many intellectuals today. How foolish is the arrogance and hubris of today–where man thinks he is so advanced and despises the wisdom of previous generations regarding the existence of a Creator!

Belief in a Creator is common sense based on looking at what has been created, just as
Paul the Apostle (Romans 1:18-23),
President Thomas Jefferson,
Benjamin Franklin,
Sir Isaac Newton,
John Calvin,
Dr. Werner von Braun,
George Washington Carver,
Johann Kepler,
Blaise Pascal,
Robert Boyle,
Dr. Raymond Damadian,
President Herbert Hoover,
Billy Sunday,
and innumerable others have argued. These men believed in a Creator and Intelligent Designer. None would have been fooled by the evolutionism that hoodwinks so many today. Throughout history the vast majority of mankind has known that there must be a Creator.

Sunday believed in the Creator and lived his life in honorable service to mankind. Today’s intellectuals would do well to pay heed to this evangelist who convinced a million people to follow Jesus Christ — one whose achievements far exceed those of most today.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Would Sunday’s harangues against teaching evolution be effective today?
  2. How do you think Sunday would approach the subject today?
  3. If you had been on Sunday’s ministry team, how would you have advised him concerning his extreme language? How would you have advised Jesus about His language?
  4. From where do you think the concept of “molecules to man evolution” originated?
  5. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the twentieth installment in the Famous Thinkers series highlighting great men who believed in the Creator.
Read the prequels:
1. Famous Thinkers – Former U.S. President Supports Intelligent Design
2. Famous Thinkers – Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
3. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Supports Intelligent Design
4. Famous Thinkers – Theologian Testifies for Creation
5. Famous Thinkers – Rocket Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
6. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation
7. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation 2
8. Famous Thinkers – Astronomer Is a Creationist
9. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Is a Creationist
10. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Is a Creationist 2
11. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 1
12. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 2
13. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 3
14. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 4
15. Famous Thinkers – Physician Is a Creationist
16. Famous Thinkers – President Is a Creationist
17. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 1
18. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 2
19. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 3

Read the sequel:
21. Famous Thinkers – Statesman Is a Creationist coming soon…
Click SUBSCRIBE to go to the SUBSCRIBE Button in the sidebar to get the sequel article free by email.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday April 15, 2015 A.D.

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. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (Romans 1:18-23)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 8, 2015

19. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 3

Billy Sunday preached muscular Christianity

Billy Sunday preached “muscular Christianity”
1965 film contains most of the available film footage
of Billy Sunday and an appearance by his crusade
song leader Homer Rodeheaver.

Revivalist Billy Sunday (1862-1935) mesmerized crusade audiences for 40 years with his rapid-fire delivery and on-stage dramatics. A much-admired former professional baseball player, Sunday left the sport at the height of his career in order to preach the Gospel.

Billy Sunday’s radical step impacted the lives of thousands for eternity as he eventually became the country’s most popular preacher. He was known for his “muscular Christianity” approach as he sought to attract and convert men through his appeal as an athlete.

The previous two articles on Billy Sunday covered his baseball and ministry careers:
1. Billy Sunday’s Baseball Career
2. Billy Sunday’s Ministry Career
In this article, some of Billy Sunday’s beliefs and teachings may surprise you. Can you guess which issue was the most controversial in his ministry?

Teachings That Snap and Crackle

Sunday was a conservative evangelical who interpreted the Bible literally. He believed in and preached the inerrancy of Scripture, God the Creator, the Virgin Birth of Christ, the Resurrection, salvation through Jesus Christ, a literal devil, a real Hell, and the return of Jesus Christ.

Sunday made no pretense of being a theologian, saying, “I don’t know any more about theology than a jack-rabbit knows about ping-pong, but I’m on my way to glory.” He summarized his theology in a single 10-word sentence:

“With Christ you are saved; without Him you are lost.”

Sunday explained the Gospel in simple terms:

“You can’t argue against sin. It is in the world and men and women are blighted and mildewed by it. … Christ came into this world and gave up His life that you and I might be reconciled to God through our faith in Jesus Christ. … Salvation is escape from the punishment of sin. … Everyone who accepts the sacrifice of Christ as his own is released from the penalty of the law. That is God’s method of salvation.”

Sunday believed the devil was the main obstacle to men’s salvation:

“The devil is the most formidable enemy the human race has to contend with…the real, genuine, blazing-eyed, cloven-hoofed, forked-tail, old devil hanging on to your coattail.”

Sunday criticized the ministers of his day who denied the existence of a literal devil. He said that those who say “there isn’t any devil–that he is just a figure of speech, a poetic personification of the sin in our natures, are calling the Holy Bible a lie.”

Billy Sunday was very dramatic in teaching about the devil:

“Billy crouches on the platform, knocks on the floor and shouts an invitation for the Devil to come up and take his medicine. Billy admits his own fearlessness and when the bid to Beelzebub is not accepted the audience shares with the champion the delight and conquering pose. Cheers ring for the tower of physical strength and spiritual righteousness whom the Boss of Hell dares not meet in combat.”
(From Higgs, Robert, God in the Stadium: Sports and Religion in America, University Press of Kentucky, 1995, p. 256.)

Detroit News Tribune 1916

Detroit News Tribune image for Billy Sunday’s 1916 Detroit Crusade

Likewise Sunday believed in and taught a literal hell and a literal heaven:

“There is a hell and when the Bible says so don’t you be so blackhearted, lowdown, and degenerate as to say you don’t believe it, you big fool!”
“You are going to live forever in heaven, or you are going to live forever in hell. There’s no other place–just the two. It is for you to decide. It’s up to you, and you must decide now!”

Sunday believed the history of the Bible was literally true. He treated Adam and Eve as real people created by God as described in Genesis who were the father and mother of the entire human race. In his teaching he referred to many of the events of the Old and New Testaments as real happenings. Here are excerpts from Sunday’s sermons that illustrate his belief in the historicity of the Bible:

“God never intended to give you a picture of the world in one panoramic view. From the time of Adam and Eve down to the time Jesus Christ hung on the cross, He was unfolding his views. When I see Moses leading the people out of bondage where they for years had bared their backs to the taskmaster’s lash; when I see the lowing herds and the high priest standing before the altar severing the jugular vein of the rams and the bullocks; on until Christ cried out from the cross, ‘It is finished,’ God was preparing the picture for the consummation of it in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “Atonement Through the Blood of Jesus“)

“I have sometimes thought that Adam and Eve didn’t understand as fully as we do when the Lord said, ‘Eat and you shall surely die.’ (Gen. 2:17) They had never seen any one die. They might have thought it simply meant a separation from God. But no sooner had they eaten and seen their nakedness than they sought to cover themselves, and it is the same today. When man sees himself in his sins, uncovered, he tries to cover himself in philosophy or some fake. But God looked through the fig leaves and the foliage and God walked out in the field and slew the beasts and took their skins and wrapped them around Adam and Eve, and from that day to this when a man has been a sinner and has covered himself, it has been by and through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “Atonement Through the Blood of Jesus“)

“When Noah built the ark and loaded it with strange cargo, that was a sensation. When Jonah walked down the streets of Nineveh covered with seaweed crying, “Repent! Repent!”-that was sensational. Jesus Christ created a sensation when He went into the synagogue at the beginning of His ministry and taught, not as the scribes, but as one who had authority.”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “Broken Down Altars“)

Elijah called upon the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the God who made the ravens feed him every morning and every night; the God who made the clouds obey Him; the God who made the stars witness that He was true; the God who burned Sodom and Gomorrah with fire; the God who drowned the world with a Flood; the God who saved Noah; the God who said,” Let there be light”; the God who shut the lions’ mouths for Daniel; the God who didn’t let the fire burn Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in the furnace because they wouldn’t bow down to Nebuchadnezzar and his idol of gold. The prayer that Elijah offered to God that brought fire down from Heaven was short-only sixty-three words-and it burned up and consumed everything. When the fire fell, everyone on the mount knew it was the fire of the Lord. It licked up the water; it licked up the dust; it licked up the stone; and the people fell on their faces-all except these 450 stiff-necked, uncircumcised, black-hearted, white-livered false prophets of Baal. God has plenty of the same kind of fire up in Heaven to pour down on us! And He will give it to us and to our country just as freely as He poured it down on the altar on Mount Carmel.”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “Broken Down Altars“)

They [angels] had seen Sennacherib come up with his men, and they had seen 180,000 Assyrians laid low by the sword when the angel of God smote them in the night. They had seen Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego cast into a fiery furnace for refusing to bow themselves down to idols, and had seen them come out from it unharmed. They had seen the brave Daniel hurled into the lion’s den for refusing to bow the knee to anyone save Jehovah, and they had seen him come out from the den of wild beasts alive. But never before had the angels beheld such a sight as when they looked down upon the garden of Gethsemane and saw the Son of God kneeling there, sweating drops of blood as He agonized over man.
(Billy Sunday, sermon “Gethsemane“)

“The millennium cannot begin until Satan has been bound in the pit. Nothing is more certain than that the glory of God shall cover the earth, but it will be after Jesus comes. … On the day before the Flood there were no doubt many people who were sincere in thinking that the world was growing better, and yet it was so hopelessly wicked that God had to destroy it. Some of the men who married into the family of Lot may have made the same claim for Sodom, only a day or two before its destruction; no doubt Lot’s wife was of the same opinion. On the day before the Crucifixion there were men in Jerusalem who undoubtedly agreed with each other that the world was growing better.”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “The Second Coming of Christ“)

“They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage until the day that Noah entered the ark and the Flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot, they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded. But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “The Second Coming of Christ“)

Noah kept working away on the ark for a hundred and twenty years, without seeing a flash of lightning or hearing a clap of thunder. Had he been living only for what he could see, it would never have been said of him that ‘he was a just man and perfect, and walked with God.’ … Abraham was another man who had a faith that lifted him higher than the sun, when looking for ‘a city which had foundations, whose maker and builder was God.'”
(Billy Sunday, sermon “Under the Sun“)

Billy Sunday Puts Everything into His Sermons

Billy Sunday Goes All-Out
in His Sermons

Sunday energetically preached against alcohol, eugenics, dancing, playing cards, the theater, and the theory of evolution as he urged his listeners to follow Christ. One of Sunday’s most frequent quips was “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.” Newspapers printed long columns of such “Sundayisms.”

Sunday’s most famous sermon, titled “Get on the Water Wagon” or more commonly known simply as the “Booze Sermon” or “The Curse of Liquor,” was his polemic against liquor and drunkenness. In it he quipped, “Whiskey and beer are all right in their place, but their place is in hell.” The sermon begins,

“I am the sworn, eternal and uncompromising enemy of the liquor traffic. I have been, and will go on, fighting that damnable, dirty, rotten business with all the power at my command. I shall ask no quarter from that gang, and they shall get none from me. After all is said that can be said on the liquor traffic, its influence is degrading on the individual, the family, politics, and business and upon everything that you touch in this old world.”

Sunday’s vigorous preaching against alcohol in all his crusades played a significant role in generating public support for the passage of the 18th Amendment on Prohibition in 1919.

The best way to understand Billy Sunday’s thought is to read some of his sermons. Here is a webpage with links to 18 of his sermons:
Billy Sunday Sermons

The next blog article will discuss Sunday’s sizzling statements about the theory of evolution. He used some phrases you’ve probably never heard from a preacher before.

Questions to Ponder
  1. What speaker has held your attention most effectively? What were his interest-keeping techniques? What kept your interest, the subject or the speaker?
  2. What do you think about Billy Sunday’s emphasis on avoiding alcohol?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Reference: Unless otherwise identified, Billy Sunday quotes in this article are from
McLoughlin, William G., Billy Sunday Was His Real Name, The University of Chicago Press, 1955, pp. 123-125.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the nineteenth installment in the Famous Thinkers series highlighting great men who believed in the Creator.
Read the prequels:
1. Famous Thinkers – Former U.S. President Supports Intelligent Design
2. Famous Thinkers – Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
3. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Supports Intelligent Design
4. Famous Thinkers – Theologian Testifies for Creation
5. Famous Thinkers – Rocket Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
6. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation
7. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation 2
8. Famous Thinkers – Astronomer Is a Creationist
9. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Is a Creationist
10. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Is a Creationist 2
11. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 1
12. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 2
13. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 3
14. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 4
15. Famous Thinkers – Physician Is a Creationist
16. Famous Thinkers – President Is a Creationist
17. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 1
18. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 2

Read the sequel:
20. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 4

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
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SUBSCRIBE NOW!

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday April 8, 2015 A.D.

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. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (Romans 1:18-23)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 1, 2015

Wood-Dissolving Bacteria

My dog and I check a wooden timber turned to stone by lapislignum bacillus.

My dog and I check a wooden
timber we found in the woods
that had been turned to stone
by lapislignum bacillus. Notice
the gray spot beneath my arm
where the bacteria is active.

Daily Science News recently publicized the startling discovery of wood-dissolving bacteria. The U.S. government has known about hydrolignum bacillus for some time, but has kept it under wraps for fear of alarming the public.

There are two varieties of the bacteria. Lapislignum bacillus converts wood to stone. Many fossilized tree trunks in coal seams are now recognized as the work of lapislignum bacillus. The other variety, hydrolignum bacillus, eats wood, producing water as a waste product. It essentially dissolves wood.

While camping last weekend I found both kinds of bacteria at work in the woods as shown in the pictures. When I touched the active sites with my finger, my skin started to tingle, so I quickly wiped my hands clean, as I don’t know what either variety does to flesh.

Scientists and archaeologists now think that the ancient Egyptians used lapislignum bacillus to build the pyramids. They built the pyramids with wood, and then applied a paste culture of lapislignum bacillus to convert the wood to stone.

Work is proceeding on commercializing hydrolignum bacillus for use in dissolving wood. Homeowners would find a hydrolignum bacillus paste useful for fixing doors that fit too tightly in their jambs.

Hydrolignum bacillus at work.

Hydrolignum bacillus at work.
Notice the spots of whitish-gray
bacteria and the dampness of the wood.

Hydrolignum bacillus could also be used to easily prune branches or fell trees without sawing as it works very fast. Smearing a ring of hydrolignum bacillus paste around a one-foot-diameter oak log eats through the log in 37 minutes.

Use of lapislignum bacillus could revolutionize the construction industry through emulating the Egyptians by building first with wood and then applying the bacteria to convert to stone.

Molecular biologists and recombinant DNA scientists are working on developing other varieties of these two varieties of bacteria. Some of the leading researchers believe that an extinct variety converted wood and vegetation into oil and that it is responsible for oil fields worldwide.

Labs are working round the clock on tinkering with the DNA to recover this oil-producing variety. Other federal research labs are trying to develop varieties that will convert wood to various metals like iron, aluminum, silver, and gold.

Lapislignum bacillus at work.

Lapislignum bacillus at work.
Notice the white stone nodules
forming at the base of the tree trunk.

Not all the news about hydrolignum bacillus and lapislignum bacillus is good. Both are immune to all known antibiotics. If the bacteria gets out of control, all forests worldwide could turn to stone or simply dissolve away.

Currently only moonlight kills the bacteria. With reports from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) that nocturnal cloud cover is increasing, the natural moonshine control of hydrolignum bacillus and lapislignum bacillus may soon prove insufficient to control the bacteria.

For more info about lapislignum bacillus, see the article Wooden Pyramids Turned to Stone. Inquirers should recognize this about news in scientific web logs: announcements precede release in legitimate free online ordinary logs.

Questions to Ponder
  1. What beneficial uses can you imagine for hydrolignum bacillus and lapislignum bacillus?
  2. What are the dangers of hydrolignum bacillus and lapislignum bacillus?
  3. What do the initial letters of the last nine words in the last paragraph spell?
  4. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

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!

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday April 1, 2015 A.D.

But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure His indignation. Thus you shall say to them, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.” It is He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom; and by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens. (Jeremiah 10:10-12)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | March 25, 2015

18. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 2

Billy Sunday Preaches Vigorously

Billy Sunday Preaches Vigorously

Born in an Iowa log cabin during the Civil War, Billy Sunday (1862-1935) became one of the country’s most popular athletes. It shocked and stunned the nation when he left baseball in March 1891 to preach the Gospel.

Why would a baseball star leave the sport at the height of his ability and success?

The baseball world was astonished when this admired sports hero made such a drastic career change. But Billy Sunday’s radical step impacted the lives of thousands for eternity as he eventually became the country’s most popular preacher.

In Billy Sunday’s day, many preachers were stern, stiff, and dull. Some droned with tortuously long sentences and needlessly complex vocabulary. Sunday was a dynamo who burst on the scene with colloquial rapid-fire illustrations and down-home speech that made him a favorite nationwide.

The previous article surveyed Billy Sunday’s baseball career. This article discusses his career as an evangelist running sizzling revival crusades all over the country, and concludes with a video trailer for a movie on Billy Sunday’s life.

Ministry Career

Sunday served for awhile under John Wilbur Chapman, one of the top evangelists of the day, who mentored Sunday’s theological development. Under Chapman he learned as well the ins and outs of running evangelistic campaigns, how to construct a sermon, and how to preach evangelistically.

In 1896 Sunday started his own campaigns when Chapman returned to the pastorate. Sunday’s rapid-fire speech was laced with baseball illustrations. He acted as if the platform were a baseball diamond as he physically embellished his sermons with baseball maneuvers. He aimed his masculine messages at men. Sunday was a model of muscular Christianity and thus attracted men to his crusades, but he was very popular with women as well.

In his first 10 years from 1896 to 1906 he held 100 revivals with more than half in towns of population under 2,500. Ninety were in towns of population under 10,000. Most were farming communities in the mid-western corn belt from western Iowa to eastern Indiana.

In the early years he used large tents for the meetings. But starting with the Perry, Iowa revival of 1901, he usually required towns to build wooden tabernacles for the revival meetings. Perry, with a population of 4,000, built a 1,000-seat tabernacle for $750.

In 1904 Keokuk, Iowa, built a 3,000-seat tabernacle for Sunday’s crusade at a cost of $2,000. Sunday held 73 meetings in the building during the course of his 31-day revival with a total attendance of 130,000.

Lumber was re-sold after disassembling tabernacles to help recoup costs, and offerings always covered any remaining tabernacle construction expenses.

Towns covered the dirt floors with sawdust to minimize dust and dampen extraneous noise. Sunday invited his hearers to “hit the sawdust trail” in his Gospel invitations, as he urged people to repent of their sin and follow Christ. He asked people to walk down the sawdust aisle to shake his hand to cement their commitment to Christ.

Wooden Tabernacle for Billy Sunday's 1919 Charleston, WV Revival

Wooden Tabernacle for Billy Sunday’s 1922 Charleston, WV 4-Week Revival
Crowds repeatedly overflowed this 6500-seat pine tabernacle built for Sunday’s meetings,
requiring multiple services. Conversions numbered 11,000 and offerings totaled $36,000.

After 1906 Sunday gradually increased the size of the cities in which he held revivals. The population of the six cities with revivals in 1907 averaged 10,000; in 1908 the average population was 20,000. By 1917 the yearly average population reached 1,750,000. From 1906 to 1918 Sunday held revival crusades in 10 of the 15 largest cities in the country and in one-third of the cities with population over 100,000. His geographical range increased as well; from 1912 to 1918 he held revivals in 21 states.

Billy Sunday often used baseball in publicity for his crusades. Sometimes he arranged baseball games with townspeople prior to crusades. At age 53 he hit a home run in an Old-Timers game during the Philadelphia crusade and circled the bases in 16 seconds, not much longer than the 14-second record he set as a player.

He also used baseball in his sermons. He would race around the stage like he used to run the bases and slide into home plate right on the stage shouting, “The devil says I’m out, but the Lord says I’m safe.” He used large print for his sermon notes so that he could catch a peek at them as he ran by the podium.

Billy Sunday Chair

Sunday used a chair for
on-stage fights with the devil.

To say that Billy Sunday was energetic, acrobatic, and dramatic on stage is an understatement. His sermons were entertaining performances as well as being packed with Biblical truth. He did not want people to be bored as he preached the Gospel. He held their close attention through his platform activity.

In some sermons Billy Sunday would grab a chair and dramatize a vigorous onstage fight with the devil. People watched anxiously as Sunday staggered, choked, sputtered, punched, and yelled till he finally would conquer the devil, to everybody’s relief.

Billy Sunday’s authorized biographer Elijah Brown described Sunday’s preaching style:

“There is but one word at your command that will even remotely indicate his manner — action! At one moment he is at one end of his long platform, and before you become used to seeing him there he is at the other, and then quicker than thought he bounds back to the center, giving the desk a solar plexus blow that would knock out a giant. Ever and anon he makes long rapid strides to give it more whacks, until at last a big piece splits off and bounds to the sawdust floor below.”
(Brown, Elijah P., The Real Billy Sunday: The Life and Work of Rev. William Ashley
Sunday, D.D. The Baseball Evangelist
, Otterbein Press, 1914.)

Biographer Bernard Weisberger also spoke of Sunday’s active preaching approach:

“Sunday skipped, ran, walked, bounced, slid, and gyrated on the platform. He would pound the pulpit with his fists until nervous listeners expected to hear crunching bones. He would, in a rage against the Devil, pick up the single kitchen chair which stood behind the reading desk and smash it into kindling; once it slipped away from him and nearly brained a few people in the front rows. As he gesticulated and shook his head, he would shed his coat, then his vest, then his tie, and finally roll up his sleeves as he whipped back and forth, crouching, shaking his fist, springing, leaping, and falling in an endless series of imitations.”
(Weisberger, Bernard, They Gathered at the River, Little, Brown and Company, 1958, p. 248.)

The New York Times reporter described Billy Sunday’s platform gymnastics at the opening of his 10-week New York City revival crusade on Sunday April 8, 1917 with these words:

“He raced up and down the green-carpeted platform … waving his hands, kicking up one knee now and again, like a park-walking horse, brandishing a chair, standing with one foot on the chair and another on the pulpit, bending over backwards like a springy sword blade, bobbing back and forth and waving a handkerchief between his legs as he reeled off one of his amazing long lists of vituperative epithets and displaying as much energy, determination, and virtuous enthusiasm as Douglas Fairbanks [famous actor known for swashbuckling roles and the host of the first Oscar ceremony in 1929].”
(McLoughlin, William G., Billy Sunday Was His Real Name, The University of Chicago Press, 1955, p. xx.)

New York excitedly anticipated Billy Sunday’s first “sawdust trail” invitation in the wooden tabernacle that had been built for the meetings. At the time, it was the largest building ever erected in New York for public meetings, holding 20,000. Unlike other evangelists, Sunday delayed asking for converts. As daily meetings continued one after another, no one knew when the first invitation call would come and this stoked the fires of expectation and publicity. It finally began on April 19, the twelfth day of the crusade.

Helen & Billy Sunday in 1915

Helen & Billy Sunday in 1915
Billy’s wife Helen was the business
manager for many of his campaigns

This New York City crusade began two days after America had declared war on Germany, and Sunday’s opening evening sermon “God’s Grenadiers” was a mixture of Christianity and support for the war effort. At the end of the sermon, Sunday stood on top of the pulpit waving a huge American flag as the crowd sang “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “America.”

The New York crusade was the apex of Billy Sunday’s career. He preached twice a day Tuesday through Saturday and three times on Sunday, all without loudspeakers. Total attendance for the 71-day revival April 8 – June 17 was 1,443,000 with 98,264 conversions.

By June 6 the daily offerings had covered the $200,000 cost of the campaign; the remaining 11 days raised $120,490 which Sunday donated to the Red Cross, YMCA, and YWCA, as he had promised in the first sermon of the crusade. Thus he sought to blunt the criticism that he was only in it for the money.

Upon the conclusion of the revival, John D. Rockefeller Jr. declared,

“Billy Sunday’s campaign in New York City has been tremendously successful–exceeding the most enthusiastic expectations of those who invited him here. … So far as the awakening of the city to religious things is concerned, the campaign is scarcely beginning. Think of the vast number of men and women who have been led by Billy to take an interest in cleaner living. … I am very glad that I had a part in bringing this great religious force to New York.”
(McLoughlin, William G., Billy Sunday Was His Real Name, The University of Chicago Press, 1955, p. xxviii.)

New York governor Charles S. Whitman telegrammed Billy Sunday upon his departure:

“The people of New York City and State recognize and appreciate this great service you have rendered.”
(McLoughlin, William G., Billy Sunday Was His Real Name, The University of Chicago Press, 1955, p. xxviii.)

Front Page of the Jefferson Bee Newspaper

Iowa’s Jefferson Bee Newspaper
Front page featuring Billy Sunday’s
Jefferson revival, January 7, 1904.
Converts listed in right-hand column.

Sunday’s crusades were enthusiastically received. Newspapers all over the country extensively covered his crusades, including printing transcripts of his sermons. For example during 1917, the New York Times printed 116 articles on Billy Sunday. Newspaper accounts consistently reported that the tabernacles were filled daily. The total crusade attendance for New York was nearly a million and a half, for Boston a million and a half, and for Philadelphia two million.

Newspapers also reported the offerings at his crusades. From 1907 to 1918, Sunday held 65 crusades, running 4 to 6 crusades each year. Over these 12 years the freewill offerings for Sunday at the crusades totaled $1,139,315. This total does not include offerings that covered crusade expenses. This was an average freewill offering for Sunday of $17,528 per crusade during this time period.

Sunday gave both the New York and Chicago crusade offerings totaling $176,490 completely to charity. Subtracting this from the total gives $962,825 for an average yearly offering of $80,235. He gave a tenth to charity and paid one-third of his staff salaries out of this. Additional income included lecture fees, investments, gifts, and book royalties. In 1920 Dunn and Bradstreet rated him as worth $1,500,000. Sunday pointed out that it was nobody’s business how much he was worth or what he did with his money as it was the Lord’s blessing on him.

Sunday’s success was partially due to extensive advance work and planning in each city. For example, work began in Boston eight months before the crusade with a team of volunteers that soon reached 35,000. In New York volunteers began a year ahead of time and eventually numbered 50,000.

Those who “followed the sawdust trail” (converts) at Sunday’s urging roughly numbered about 10% of a city’s population for cities with populations under 100,000. The cities with the three largest convert totals were New York (98,264), Boston (64,484), and Chicago (49,165).

Billy Sunday also pioneered radio preaching. The FCC was established when his radio preaching interfered with baseball game broadcasts.

Billy Sunday’s crusade career spanned 40 years from 1896 to 1935. Enormous crowds totaling over 100 million attended his sensational sermons, as he conducted over 300 separate revival campaigns. “Sawdust trail” converts numbered over 1,000,000, and he raised millions of dollars in campaign offerings to cover crusade expenses and salaries.

Sunday estimated that he had delivered 20,000 sermons over his career, averaging 42 per month from 1896 to 1935.

Here’s a YouTube clip of a proposed movie on Billy Sunday:

The next blog article in this series will delve into some of Sunday’s sermons and discuss what he believed and taught.

Questions to Ponder
  1. What could a present-day Bible teacher do today to seize the attention and commitment of contemporary Americans as Billy Sunday did in his day?
  2. Is it legitimate for a gospel minister to be wealthy? Why or why not?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the eighteenth installment in the Famous Thinkers series highlighting great men who believed in the Creator.
Read the prequels:
1. Famous Thinkers – Former U.S. President Supports Intelligent Design
2. Famous Thinkers – Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
3. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Supports Intelligent Design
4. Famous Thinkers – Theologian Testifies for Creation
5. Famous Thinkers – Rocket Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
6. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation
7. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation 2
8. Famous Thinkers – Astronomer Is a Creationist
9. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Is a Creationist
10. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Is a Creationist 2
11. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 1
12. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 2
13. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 3
14. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 4
15. Famous Thinkers – Physician Is a Creationist
16. Famous Thinkers – President Is a Creationist
17. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 1

Read the sequel:
19. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 3

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”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday March 25, 2015 A.D.

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. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (Romans 1:18-23)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | March 18, 2015

17. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 1

What professional baseball player who influenced a million people to follow Christ said this?

“I don’t believe your own bastard theory of evolution, either; I believe it’s pure jackass nonsense. When the consensus of scholarship says one thing and the Word of God another, the consensus of scholarship can go plumb to hell for all I care.”

This 19th century player was still famous enough to make the 2013 Panini Golden Age Card Set

This 19th century player was still famous
enough to make this Panini Golden Age
Collectors’ Card Set in 2013

I don’t endorse the salty language this man sometimes used, but his passion for the truth electrified America with vigorous, unapologetic Biblical preaching. A former professional baseball player, his lively physical antics on stage riveted listeners’ rapt attention.

But Christians with more conventional perspectives cringed at his unorthodox style and language and even publicly criticized him. Nevertheless he preached the Word of God to over 100 million people, and estimates of conversions at his tabernacle meetings run to over one million. Both hearers and conversions are believed to number more than anyone else prior to Billy Graham.

Born in an Iowa log cabin during the Civil War, this man became one of the country’s most popular athletes. It stunned the nation when he left baseball to preach the Gospel. But eventually he became the country’s most popular preacher.

Who is this man?

Baseball fans remembered him racing around the diamond, clutching his hat. He set a record for the fastest trip around the bases (14 secs). People came to hear this man’s practical, down-to-earth, illustration-laced talks and to see his on-stage baseball-inspired dramatics. He said,

“I want to preach the gospel so plainly that men can come from the factories and not have to bring a dictionary.”

This man was a stalwart proponent and defender of Biblical Christianity. He said,

“Nowadays we think we are too smart to believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus and too well educated to believe in the Resurrection. That’s why people are going to the devil in multitudes.”

He preached colloquially, using the vernacular of the day to best communicate with ordinary people:

“I may be crude. I use slang. But I always make myself understood. The average man-the man in the street has only about 300 words in his vocabulary. He needs the message, and I speak his language so he will understand.”

Who was this star baseball player and world-famous evangelist?

Chicago Centerfielder Billy Sunday Baseball Card

Centerfielder Billy Sunday
Chicago White Stockings
Baseball Card from late 1880s

This man was William Ashley Sunday, popularly known as Billy Sunday (1862-1935).

Sunday played professional baseball for eight seasons on three teams, during which time he became a Christian. He left baseball in order to preach the Gospel and became the most famous revivalist of the early twentieth century. His sermons were performances that entertained as well as communicated Biblical truth in everyday language.

Sunday biographer William Glyn Evans wrote:

“Sunday learned that people listened better when they could visualize what they were hearing. So he became active, dramatic, and acrobatic, and the crowds were delighted. He was purposely sensational, his language purposely extravagant, his delivery purposely accentuated, because he wanted to make the gospel interesting to hear. Also, Sunday embodied the masculine approach to preaching. His athletic career, his vast energy, his taut nervous system, and his sheer animal display drew men of all sorts into his tabernacles. He presented himself as a lone, courageous battler against the overwhelming forces of evil—the devil, liquor, sin, vice, and corruption.”
(Evans, William Glyn, Profiles of Revival Leaders, Broadman Press, 1976, p. 85.)

Baseball Career

In 1883 Billy Sunday broke into professional baseball with the National League champion Chicago White Stockings as an outfielder. Team owner Albert G. Spalding, founder of Spalding Sporting Goods, signed Sunday on the recommendation of Hall of Famer Cap Anson who managed the team and starred as a player.

Initially Sunday impressed Anson by beating the fastest man on the Chicago team in a 100-yard race, winning by 15 feet. Manager Anson grew to trust Billy Sunday so much that he turned over to him the responsibility for paying travel expenses for the team and handling ticket receipts. During Sunday’s five years with the team, Chicago won National League championships in 1885 & 1886.

Halfway through the 1885 season, Sunday was batting .371 — one of only two Chicago players batting over .300. During the season a sportswriter wrote this of Billy Sunday:

“His pace between bases is simply terrific, and when he goes to bat the crowd seems instinctively to turn its eyes toward the carriage line or the right field fence. What to any other man would be a two or three-base hit, is to Sunday a three-bagger or a home run, and the way he climbs over the earth between those bags is something to part the lips and open the eyes of any man with a soul in his body or blood in his veins.”
(Knickerbocker, W., Sunday at the Ballpark: Billy Sunday‟s Professional Baseball Career, 1883-1890, The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2000, p. 41.)

Sporting Life said,

“Sunday is about as good an every day player as Chicago can boast. The man doesn’t live who can beat him at base running; he is a strong, safe batter, and his fielding play is generally faultless.”

While playing for Chicago in 1886, Sunday heard a street preacher from the Pacific Garden Mission. Stirred by the hymns which were reminiscent of his mother’s singing, he started attending worship services and soon committed his life to God. Feeling God’s call to preach, he began speaking in churches and YMCA meetings.

A favorite baseball story that Sunday told repeatedly in sermons involved a game he played for Chicago in Detroit. With two out in the bottom of the ninth, Detroit had the tying and winning runs on base. The batter slammed a screamer over Billy Sunday’s head in right field. He recalled,

“As I saw the ball rise in the air, I knew it was going clear over my head into the crowd that overflowed the field. I turned my back to the ball and ran. The field was crowded with people, and as I ran I yelled, ‘Get out of the way!’ and that crowd opened like the Red Sea for the rod of Moses. I ran on, and as I ran I made a prayer; it wasn’t theological either, I tell you that. I said, ‘God, if you ever helped mortal man, help me to get that ball!’ I ran and jumped over the bench; when I thought I was under it, I stopped. I looked back and saw it going over my head, and I jumped and shoved out my left hand, and the ball hit it and stuck! At the rate I was going the momentum carried me on, and I fell under the feet of a team of horses. But I held on to it and jumped up with the ball in my hand. My how they yelled! Tom Johnson, who used to be mayor of Cleveland–dead now–rushed up to me and poked a ten dollar bill in my hand. ‘Here, Bill,’ he cried to me, ‘Greatest thing I ever saw! Buy yourself the best hat in Chicago. That catch won me $1500.'”
(McLoughlin, William G., Billy Sunday Was His Real Name, The University of Chicago Press, 1955, p. 5.)

1889 Pittsburgh Alleghenys Baseball Team

1889 Pittsburgh Alleghenys Baseball Team
Centerfielder Billy Sunday is 2nd from left in middle row. Hall of Fame infielder & strong
Christian James “Deacon” White is third from right in top row. Hall of Fame pitcher Pud
Galvin is on Billy’s right. Hall of Fame 1st baseman Jake Beckley is on left end of front row.

For the 1888 season, Sunday was sold to the Pittsburgh Alleghenys (now the Pittsburgh Pirates). He was the star of the team in center field. Renowned for his speed on the bases and in the field, Sunday thrilled fans with acrobatic diving catches. This was done barehanded in the era before players used baseball gloves.

In August 1890 Sunday was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies who hoped he would lead the team on a late-season pennant run. He signed a 3-year contract at $400/month for the 7-month season. This was at a time when the average worker in America made only about $500 yearly.

Outfielder Billy Sunday

Philadelphia Outfielder Billy Sunday, 1890

However, in March 1891 Sunday obtained his release from the Phillies and left baseball to enter Christian ministry at a greatly reduced salary. Upon being released by Philadelphia, the Cincinnati ballclub offered him $500/month, but he elected to minister with the YMCA at $83.33/month. Later clubs offered him up to $2,000/month to return to baseball, but he declined. Much later as a successful evangelist he was offered $1,000,000 to be in movies, but he refused in order to continue his evangelistic crusades.

The baseball world was astonished when this admired sports hero made such a drastic career change. The next blog article in this series will consider Billy Sunday’s radical step that impacted the lives of thousands for eternity.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Why would a highly-paid star player like Billy Sunday play for his new team for just a few months? What could cause him to leave while on the crest of impressive athleticism and success?
  2. Has your passion for excellence on the job inspired the confidence and trust of co-workers, as Billy Sunday did while on the White Stockings team?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the seventeenth installment in the Famous Thinkers series highlighting great men who believed in the Creator.
Read the prequels:
1. Famous Thinkers – Former U.S. President Supports Intelligent Design
2. Famous Thinkers – Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
3. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Supports Intelligent Design
4. Famous Thinkers – Theologian Testifies for Creation
5. Famous Thinkers – Rocket Scientist Supports Intelligent Design
6. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation
7. Famous Thinkers – Botanist Supports Creation 2
8. Famous Thinkers – Astronomer Is a Creationist
9. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Is a Creationist
10. Famous Thinkers – Mathematician Is a Creationist 2
11. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 1
12. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 2
13. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 3
14. Famous Thinkers – Chemist Is a Creationist 4
15. Famous Thinkers – Physician Is a Creationist
16. Famous Thinkers – President Is a Creationist

Read the sequel:
18. Famous Thinkers – Evangelist Is a Creationist 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
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SUBSCRIBE NOW!

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday March 18, 2015 A.D.

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. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (Romans 1:18-23)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | March 11, 2015

Kepler & the Psycho Squirrel

Kepler Squirrel

In the Christmas Vacation movie a squirrel rides into the house concealed within a Christmas tree. Later a large Rottweiler dog chases the squirrel throughout the house. They go round and round through the rooms destroying everything in their path. It is quite humorous as long as you are a viewer and not a participant.

Here’s a YouTube clip of the movie’s Squirrel-Rottweiler segment:


 
Recently we ourselves had this same “Dog chases squirrel through the house” experience for real, but with less damage. Here’s the story.

One day last week our dog started showing intense interest in the closed glass doors of our fireplace. Later we heard noises in the fireplace and saw a black squirrel rearranging the paper and sticks that were laid for the next fire. The squirrel may have been a pregnant female looking for a good nesting place.

Cracking the fireplace glass doors, I drove the squirrel out through the ash-cleanout at the bottom. I thought the problem was solved. Little did I anticipate the turmoil that was in the offing.

Fire

That same evening I started a fire in our fireplace. About half an hour later, a black squirrel leaped out of the fireplace onto the fireplace screen, climbed the screen, leaped to the mantle, ran along the mantle scattering objects in its path, jumped down onto a stack of firewood, ran behind the four-foot-high TV cabinet, and then up onto the cabinet beside the TV and DVD player.

The picture shows the state of the fireplace when the squirrel leaped out of the ash-cleanout beneath the fire, climbed the screen and escaped into the room. I was sitting in a chair in front of the fire and saw the squirrel climb the screen and leap out.

Dead Squirrel

Kepler’s Dead Squirrel in the Snow
(soup can is for scale)

The squirrel was full-grown and coal-black. I keep the ash-cleanout open to draw in outside air to feed the fire, and this is how the squirrel got in. It was probably attracted by the fire’s warmth.

I had no hope of catching the squirrel once it was loose in the house, but I knew who could catch it.

Kepler is our year-old Jack Russell terrier puppy (today is his birthday) named for the Biblical creationist, mathematician, and astronomer Johann Kepler (1571-1630) who discovered the three Laws of Planetary Motion.

Kepler considers all people and dogs friends, and he is always eager to meet someone new. He soon proved, however, to have a different attitude toward squirrels. Kepler rocketed after the squirrel with an intensity and singularity of purpose to be admired.

Kepler Glass Door

Kepler Jumping at the Glass Door
He barked and jumped for 20 minutes
trying to get to his now-dead squirrel.

The squirrel’s fatal mistake was leaving the high ground of the TV cabinet. It jumped down onto the wood pile and proceeded to lead Kepler on a not-so-merry chase. They ran across the family room knocking over a pile of newspapers, up and over the sofa, through the kitchen, into the front hall, back through the kitchen running under the kitchen table, and into the family room again — all with Kepler in extremely hot pursuit the whole way.

The squirrel was squeaking and bits of its fur were flying as Kepler kept snapping hard on its heels. Later we found tufts of black squirrel fur all over the family room and kitchen floors. Look closely at the picture with the soup can to see bare spots on its flank and side where Kepler removed fur during the chase.

Kepler Jump

Kepler jumped so high he left the picture

Kepler finally ran the squirrel to ground under the desk in the family room and killed it. I threw its body out the sliding glass door into the snow.

This was the most excitement Kepler has had all winter. It was even pretty exciting for us as we watched. Kepler was beside himself with excitement for a full 20 minutes after the kill. He kept jumping at the sliding glass door on his hind legs and barking. Nothing would distract him till my wife moved the dead squirrel out of sight. Then he prowled the family room for half an hour hunting for more squirrels with his nose.

The job Kepler performed with such skill, efficiency, speed, and dispatch was amazing to watch. It could not possibly have been improved upon. Man could never design and build such an efficient squirrel-catching device.

Kepler Glass Door

Kepler still wants the squirrel the next day

We have gray squirrels, reddish brown squirrels, and black squirrels in our yard, but Kepler has shown very little interest in them in the past — possibly because he was still a young puppy.

Where did Kepler get his lightning reflexes? Why did he chase the squirrel? Who taught him how to catch squirrels?

I did not tell Kepler to get the squirrel. I have never taught or trained Kepler on how to catch a squirrel. The Creator built this capability into Kepler’s DNA. Imagine the complexity of that coding job! No human has any idea how to write that code in the DNA. This is another way in which little Kepler glorifies his Creator — by doing very well what he was well-designed to do.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Every creature glorifies its Creator. How does your favorite animal glorify the Creator?
  2. Have you felt the exhilaration of watching someone do just what they were created to do? Describe the occasion.
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the prequels on our puppy Kepler:
Why I Named Our Puppy “Kepler”
Kepler’s Kind
Kepler’s Lopsided Trade
Kepler’s Amazing Nose
Kepler’s Business Card

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday March 11, 2015 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)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | March 4, 2015

Kepler’s Business Card

Kepler

Kepler

Have you ever met a dog who has his own business card? If not, then let me introduce you to Kepler so you can learn the reason for his card!

Kepler is our 11-month-old Jack Russell terrier puppy named for the Biblical creationist, mathematician, and astronomer Johann Kepler(1571-1630) who discovered the three Laws of Planetary Motion.

Kepler is an appealing little dog who draws lots of attention and stimulates strangers’ comments wherever he goes. Whether at a campground, a festival, or walking our neighborhood, Kepler considers all people and dogs friends. He is always eager to meet someone new.

I decided to put Kepler’s ability to “break the ice” with people to good use. I wanted his magnetism to “put a stone in people’s shoes.” In other words, I hoped people would leave our conversations about the dog with something significant to mull over. To that end, when people show special interest in Kepler, I give them Kepler’s card.

Like many business cards, the front of the card has the puppy’s name and picture. It includes identifying info for his namesake Johann Kepler, along with this quote from Professor Kepler:

“The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony which has been imposed on it by God.”

Here is a picture of the front of Kepler’s card:
KeplerCard

Here is a picture of the back of Kepler’s card:
KeplerCardBack

The Bible verses on the back of Kepler’s card are signed with paw prints. The first verse on the back is the foundational verse for the entire Bible:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

The second verse on the back is what I think of as God’s stone in man’s shoe.
He made the stars also. (Genesis 1:16)

This brief comment leaps off the page from the end of a Bible verse which describes God’s creative activity on the Fourth Day of Creation (Genesis 1:16).

But in the original Hebrew the comment is even briefer — simply “and the stars“:
And God maketh the two great luminaries, the great luminary for the rule of the day, and the small luminary — and the stars — for the rule of the night.
(Genesis 1:16, Young’s Literal Translation)

Globular Star Cluster M15

Globular Star Cluster M15
M15 with over 100,000 stars is 175 light-years across and is about 33,600 light-years away in the constellation Pegasus in the Milky Way galaxy.

Yet this very brief understated comment, just a little stone in your shoe to keep snagging your attention, is truly astronomically astounding!!! Think what “and the stars” entails:

The galaxies God made in a single day 6,000 years ago range from dwarf galaxies with “only” ten million (10,000,000) stars to giant galaxies with 100 trillion (100,000,000,000,000) stars. Our own Milky Way galaxy contains over 100 billion (100,000,000,000) stars. And there are well over 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe.

The total energy of all these stars and galaxies is incomprehensible to humans. The power of the Creator is beyond man’s imagination. Yet man daily dares to insult and profane his Maker. Go figure.

Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name. Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:26)

The final passage on Kepler’s card comes from the Apostle Peter’s sermon in Acts 10 for Cornelius’ relatives and friends. It outlines the basics of the Gospel:
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…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…to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God…after He arose from the dead. 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)

I trust that God will use Kepler’s business card, in particular the Scripture on its back, to impact people for eternity.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Has God used anyone to “put a stone in your shoe?” That is, did someone plant an idea that worried around in your head and nagged at your heart, creating a discomfort that only God could relieve? How did they slip the stone into your shoe?
  2. What is your favorite technique for putting a stone in someone’s shoe?
  3. Think of an ordinary question you get asked frequently. How could you use that opportunity to put a stone in someone’s shoe?
  4. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Note: I got the “put a stone in someone’s shoe” terminology from Christian apologist Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the prequels on our puppy Kepler:
Why I Named Our Puppy “Kepler”
Kepler’s Kind
Kepler’s Lopsided Trade
Kepler’s Amazing Nose

Read the sequel:
Kepler & the Psycho Squirrel

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Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday March 4, 2015 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)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | February 25, 2015

Brian Williams & the Resurrection

NBC anchor Brian Williams at April 2011 Time 100 gala

NBC anchor Brian Williams
(April 2011 Time 100 gala)

What would cause an admired and acclaimed leading news anchor to be suspended for 6 months without pay?

How could this happen to someone like NBC’s Nightly News Anchor and Managing Editor Brian Williams?

Williams had reported that his helicopter had been hit by rocket-propelled grenade fire and forced down while covering the Iraq war in March 2003. Williams repeated this story on the NBC Nightly News on Friday, January 30, 2015. However, soldiers who were present at the time Williams claimed to have been shot down disputed his account to Stars and Stripes.
(See also Soldiers offer eyewitness accounts of the Brian Williams Chinook story, Stars and Stripes, Feb 6, 2015.)

Subsequently on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, Williams apologized for misremembering and conflating events in his mind as he tried to recall circumstances from 12 years previously.

On Tuesday, February 10, NBC News President Deborah Turness said,

“While on Nightly News on Friday, January 30, 2015, Brian misrepresented events which occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003. It then became clear that on other occasions Brian had done the same while telling that story in other venues. This was wrong and completely inappropriate for someone in Brian’s position. As Managing Editor and anchor of Nightly News, Brian has a responsibility to be truthful and to uphold the high standards of the news division at all times….We believe this suspension is the appropriate and proportionate action.”
(From Brian Williams suspended for six months, USA Today, Feb 10, 2015.)

How Should Christians Respond?

Everyone of us has lied at least once in our life and probably many times for most of us. We just have not been caught so publicly as Mr. Williams. If he acknowledges his misstatements or falsehoods, we should be willing to forgive him and give him a second chance.

Nevertheless, I am very glad to see NBC uphold Truth as a vital value, even though I think it’s somewhat hypocritical. NBC has covered and promoted lying liberals for years with little criticism and precious few if any attempts to hold them to a standard of truth. Yet they feel their anchor must tell the truth.

The six-month suspension without pay is suitable discipline. I would restore him to his job when the suspension is completed.

How Does This Relate to the Resurrection of Jesus?

I think this Williams incident illustrates the credibility of the Resurrection accounts.

Williams’ fairly innocuous, relatively meaningless lie could not stand up to public scrutiny. Eyewitnesses came forward to dispute and disprove Williams’ account.

20090403-EasterDevolution

The apostles’ claim that Jesus had been raised from the dead was a far greater and much more significant claim than that of Williams. Yet there is no record of anybody disputing or disproving the claim.

Why was the soldier-guarded tomb empty? All that was needed to falsify the Resurrection claim was to produce the body. Where was the body?

The Resurrection of Jesus has withstood the most intense scrutiny of any historical claim. The Jewish leaders of the time would dearly loved to have been able to shut up the apostles by disproving the Resurrection through producing the body. They could not do so. All they could do was try to silence the apostles through threats. Over the ensuing 2000 years, innumerable people have sought to disprove or explain away the Resurrection without success.

The Gospels, Acts, and the Epistles in the New Testament are our best historical sources on the Resurrection. They document eyewitness accounts of what happened. They are reports by men who paid with severe persecution and eventually with their lives for their insistent testimony to the Resurrection.

The apostles claimed they saw the body from the tomb in the resurrected Jesus. The Apostle Paul reports that over 500 people, most of whom were still alive when Paul wrote, saw Jesus simultaneously (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). Far fewer than 500 people were available to correct Brian Williams’ account, and yet it was caught and corrected.

Jesus’ grave was public knowledge and guarded by a cadre of Roman soldiers. All that was necessary to disprove Resurrection claims was to produce the body. Nobody produced the body, because they could not.

Empty grave clothes left in the tomb show that the body was not stolen (John 20:5-7). No grave robber would have taken the time and effort to unwrap the body, leave the grave clothes, and carry off the bare body. The body would be easier to carry away if it were still wrapped in grave clothes.

The disciples would not have declared and died for Resurrection claims that were so easily falsifiable, unless they knew Jesus rose from the dead.

Scripture records over 500 people seeing Jesus alive on at least 10 different occasions within weeks after He had been buried in a sealed tomb for three days and three nights. Matthew, Mark, John, Peter and Paul recorded testimony to the Resurrection as eyewitnesses. Investigative reporter Luke documented his research findings.

I believe the disciples. The empty tomb and discarded grave clothes thunder, “Resurrection.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Have you ever been publicly exposed in a lie? How embarrassing was it?
  2. Is it harder to forgive Brian Williams or a close confidant who lied to you?
  3. How do you explain the Resurrection? Did it happen as the Gospels report, or do you have some other explanation?
  4. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Bible-Science Guy logo

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday February 25, 2015 A.D.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | February 18, 2015

5. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Does It Matter?

PatternsExodusMahoney3

Is the Exodus from Egypt a legend or is it true history?

An outstanding recent documentary, Patterns of Evidence: Exodus, presents abundant archaeological evidence to dispute the consensus of opinion among archaeologists that the Exodus never happened.

This article concludes the review of Patterns of Evidence: Exodus that was begun in the prequels:
1. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Did It Happen?
2. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Facing the Facts
3. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – The Debate
4. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – What Did Jesus Think?

This fifth article considers this question: Does it matter whether the Exodus is a historical event that actually took place?

PatternsExodusControversial

Does It Matter?

To begin with, let’s clarify the issue by three questions:

Does it matter whether the Exodus plagues and the crossing of the Red Sea were real historical events or simply inspiring stories about events that never actually happened?

Does it matter whether the Biblical accounts of Creation, Adam’s Sin, Noah’s Flood, Tower of Babel, Virgin Birth, Crucifixion, and Resurrection are historically true or are only intriguing stories to encourage mankind?

Does it matter whether physical evidence can be found to back up the Bible’s report of these events?

The answer to these three questions is both Yes and No.

PatternsExodusTrue

Yes, It Does Matter

Yes, it does matter that events reported in Scripture actually occurred, no matter how many scholars state otherwise.

American Rabbi David Wolpe is the Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, CA, the largest Jewish congregation in the world. In 2007, 2008, and 2009 Newsweek Magazine named David Wolpe one of the fifty most important Rabbis in America. In 2012 Newsweek named him the most influential Rabbi in America. In the same year the Jerusalem Post listed him as one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world.

But Rabbi Wolpe does not believe the Exodus happened as the Torah describes. In the film, to explain his observance of Passover despite not believing in the Exodus, he said,

“Things that aren’t facts can be truths.”

Wolpe is saying that the Exodus never happened, but it doesn’t matter because the spiritual meaning of the “Exodus story” is what is important.

But it does matter! How can a spiritual truth be based on a lie? Judaism and Christianity are based on historical events that really happened. If they did not happen, the two faiths are worthless. Disbelief in the Exodus account undermines the Passover which pointed to the redemption from sin accomplished by Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. It undermines the New Testament Epistles which explain the meaning of Christ’s redemptive work. Exodus denial undermines the basic message of the Old and New Testaments.

PatternsExodusPrager

Jewish talk-show host and film panelist Dennis Prager disagreed with all the anti-Exodus rabbis and scholars. He said, “I think it does matter if the Jews were slaves in Egypt and whether the Exodus took place.” Prager believes actual historical events comprise the essential foundation of Judaism and Christianity.

It absolutely does matter whether Old Testament events actually occurred. The theology and message of the Bible is grounded on historical events that actually happened. For example, if Adam’s Sin was not a historical event, then most of the Bible is meaningless. What do we need to be saved from if Adam did not sin?

PatternsExodusBimson

The Apostle Paul said that if Jesus was not raised from the dead, then faith is worthless, and believers are still in their sins (1 Corinthians 15:14-19). The hope of the Christian is grounded on the historical fact of the Resurrection.

If the events did not occur as the Bible reports, then the Bible is full of lies and cannot be trusted for anything.

No, It Does Not Matter

No, it does not matter whether physical evidence can be found to back up the Bible’s report of events.

The truth of the Bible does not depend on external supportive evidence. Just because evidence of an event cannot be found, does not mean the event did not happen. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Many historical events that we know about only through written records have left no archaeological trace.

However, I think filmmaker Tim Mahoney is right to look for evidence of Exodus-connected events. These six major events connected with the Exodus
1. Arrival of Joseph & Jacob’s family in Egypt
2. Multiplication of Hebrews into a nation in Egypt
3. Hebrew Enslavement in Egypt
4. Ten Plagues on Egypt
5. Exodus from Egypt
6. Conquest of Canaan by the Israelites
were impactful enough to potentially leave a footprint of physical evidence that is still discernible by archaeologists today. Thus it’s not surprising that Mahoney found evidence of these events that he presents in his film. His evidence simply corroborates the most important evidence of the events which is the Biblical record itself.

PatternsExodusKorthals

Finding external supportive evidence of the Bible’s historical accounts can be a big encouragement to Christians, and it occasionally may influence skeptics. Biblical archaeology is very interesting, rewarding, and helpful, but it is not necessary. Archaeology can only confirm a tiny percentage of the events of the past. That does not mean that events without archaeological support did not happen.

Instead of using archaeological evidence to evaluate the Bible, one should use the Bible to interpret the evidence. All evidence has to be interpreted. The correct approach is to base one’s thinking on the unchanging Word of God, rather than base one’s thinking on the ever changing results of man’s research, no matter what the field – archaeology, philosophy, or science. (1 Peter 1:24-25)

PatternsEvidExodPoster

How to See the Documentary

I strongly encourage viewing the Patterns of Evidence: Exodus documentary. It has been shown twice so far this year in theaters on January 19 & 29. If there are subsequent theater showings, they will be announced at Fathom Events. Also many churches will likely show the DVD eventually. While the film probably will not convince any skeptics, it will be a huge encouragement to Christians. The book, movie DVD, and soundtrack are all available for pre-order at the documentary web site: Patterns of Evidence: Exodus.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Does it matter whether the Exodus actually occurred as described in the Bible? What do you think?
  2. If you saw the film, what was your reaction?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

This concludes the series of five articles reviewing the Patterns of Evidence: Exodus documentary.
Read the prequels:
1. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Did It Happen?
2. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Facing the Facts
(with video)
3. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – The Debate
4. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – What Did Jesus Think?

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read my other articles on Biblical Archaeology:
1. The Mystery of Tsinnur
2. Copper Country
3. One Night of Sin Spawns Centuries of Havoc
4. Blown to Pieces
5. Joseph’s Grain Silos Found in Egypt?
6. Archaeological Study Bible
7. Lost Treasures of the Bible
1. Eyewitness to Jesus
2. Early Date for Matthew
3. Forensic Evidence
4. Significance of the Magdalen Papyrus (w/ video)
Noah’s Ark Found? (with video)
1. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Intro
8. Hike the Bible – Roman Road
9. Hike the Bible – Via Maris
21. Hike the Bible – Jesus Boat
23. Hike the Bible – Capernaum Archaeology
25. Hike the Bible – Miracles at Capernaum 2
26. Hike the Bible – Miracles at Capernaum 3
1. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Did It Happen?
2. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Facing the Facts (with video)
3. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – The Debate
4. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – What Did Jesus Think?

Read my other Movie Reviews:
The Genesis Code (with video)
Marilyn Monroe and the Age of the Earth
Mystery of Noah’s Flood (with videos)
God’s Not Dead, the Movie (with videos)
Noah, the Movie (with videos)
Exodus, the Movie (with video)
1. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Did It Happen?
2. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Facing the Facts (with video)
3. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – The Debate
4. Patterns of Evidence: What Did Jesus Think?

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!

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday February 18, 2015 A.D.

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin; considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the first-born might not touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.
(Hebrews 11:23-29)

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