Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | June 7, 2017

Science in the Bible – Starry Host

(2 Minute Read)

20020520-StarWars

It was only in the 17th century with the invention of the telescope that Galileo (1564-1642) first glimpsed the vastness of the universe.

Prior to that time, man had no idea how many stars existed, as only about 4,000 are visible to the naked eye.

Yet thousands of years ago the Bible said the stars could not be counted.

Around 2,000 BC, Yahweh implied to Abraham that the number of stars was innumerably large:
And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” (Genesis 15:5)

Abraham would only have been able to see around 4,000 stars with his naked eye. A promise of 4,000 descendants is not much of a promise. The implication is that the number of stars is huge, and Abraham’s descendants would be essentially innumerable.

How many stars are there? Even a kindergartner can understand this simple question, but no man alive can answer it. But Yahweh knows exactly how many stars He made on Creation Day Four about 6,000 years ago. And He calls each individually by name.
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)

He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. (Psalms 147:4-5)

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 is about 100,000 light-years across. And there are well over 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe.

Sombrero Galaxy

Sombrero Galaxy
Sombrero’s bulging glow of light comes from 800 Billion stars. Sombrero is 31 million
light-years away in the constellation Virgo and is 50,000 light-years across. The dots
of light are not stars but thousands of other galaxies, including a pair of twin galaxies
at the bottom at 7 O’clock. (Click image to enlarge.)

How many stars did God make on Creation Day Four? A 2010 estimate reported
300 sextillion = 3 × 1023 = 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the observable universe. Only God knows how many stars are in the unobservable universe — very possibly there are even more stars in the unobservable universe than in the portion we can observe. God made all these innumerable stars in just one day around 6,000 years ago and placed them in the heavens.

Around 600 BC, at a time when man could have counted 4,000 or so visible stars, Yahweh told Jeremiah that the stars could not be counted, there were so many of them.
As the host of heaven cannot be counted and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me. (Jeremiah 33:22)

Even now man cannot count the stars, just as the Bible says. But Yahweh knows the exact number of stars in His universe.

Scripture says that “star differs from star in glory.” (1 Corinthians 15:41) No two stars are the same; every star and galaxy is different. Astronomers have observed many different types of stars and a variety of completely unexplained astral and galactic phenomena. The Bible declared the uniqueness of stars centuries before the invention of the telescope made such observations possible.

The total energy of all these stars and galaxies is incomprehensible to humans. The power of the Creator is beyond man’s imagination. A Creator whose marvelous works include these stupendous feats of creating, numbering, and naming an unfathomable quantity of gigantic fiery unique stars merits our continual awe, worship, and enthusiastic praise! Yet man daily dares to insult and profane his Maker. Go figure.

How many stars are there? It’s a very simple question, yet man cannot answer it. God alone has numbered and named the stars.

Science Catches Up to the Bible

Thousands of years before man discovered the immensity of stars, the Bible reported man could not count them. Yet Yahweh has numbered and named the stars.

Although the Bible is not primarily a science textbook, it does hint at many scientific truths like this one and like those mentioned in this Science in the Bible series, truths that long pre-date their discovery by today’s scientists. This is strong evidence of divine authorship of the Bible.

Questions to Ponder

1. What aspect of God’s creative work in making, numbering, and naming the stars is most awe-inspiring to you?
2. How can the vastness of the starry host enrich your worship of Yahweh the Creator?
3. What amazing information about the Creator can you tell someone today?

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

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 13th in the Science in the Bible series of blog posts. While there is much science connected with Creation and Noah’s Flood, this series will focus on lesser known scientific truths that were alluded to in the Bible long before they were known to scientists.
Read the prequels:
1. Science in the Bible – Blood
2. Science in the Bible – Ocean Currents
3. Science in the Bible – Undersea Mountains
4. Science in the Bible – Ocean Reservoirs
5. Science in the Bible – Good Medicine
6. Science in the Bible – Round Earth
7. Science in the Bible – Don’t Marry Kin
8. Science in the Bible – Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
9. Science in the Bible – Hanging Earth
10. Science in the Bible – Thermodynamics
11. Science in the Bible – Water Cycle
12. Science in the Bible – Quarantine

Read the sequel:
14. Science in the Bible – Turning Earth

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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 June 7, 2017 A.D.

Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 31, 2017

Jim Bunning — Pitcher & Patriot

(3 Minute Read)

1961 Topps Baseball Card

Despite being a Yankees fan for as long as I can remember, I was still saddened to learn that Jim Bunning died last Friday night, May 26, at age 85.

I remember him being a tough pitcher for the Detroit Tigers against the Yankees in my youth. He spent most of his 17-year Hall of Fame career (1955-1971) pitching for the Tigers (9 years) and Phillies (6 years) with only short stints with the Pirates and Dodgers. Bunning posted a lifetime 224-184 record and 3.27 ERA. After baseball Bunning served Kentucky and the nation in both the US House and Senate, standing strong for high moral values.

“Heaven got its No. 1 starter.” Federal District Court judge David Bunning tweeted this to announce his father’s death Saturday morning. His death was due to complications from a stroke he suffered last October.

Hall of Famer James Paul David Bunning (1931-2017) was a 7-time All-Star with the Tigers and a 2-time All-Star with the Phillies. He was the second pitcher in history (with Cy Young) to win 100 games and strikeout 1000 batters in both the American and National Leagues. He is one of only five pitchers to throw a no-hitter in both leagues (for Detroit and Philadelphia). At the time he did it, only he and Cy Young had accomplished the feat. Upon retirement, he was second on the all-time strikeouts list to Walter Johnson with 2,855.

Bunning was proud of his reliability and consistency. He said, “I am most proud of the fact I went through nearly 11 years without missing a start. They wrote my name down, and I went to the post.” This may be a record in itself. Certainly very few pitchers ever reached this level of dependability.

Allen Lewis, a 1981 Ford C. Frick Award honoree, covered Bunning for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He emphasized Bunning’s purposefulness: “He’s the only pitcher I ever saw who never threw a pitch that he didn’t know exactly what he was trying to do with it. He had purpose with every pitch.”

Fellow Phillies pitcher Dennis Bennett said of Bunning, “He’s the leader of the staff. When he loses, we are shocked.”

Jim Bunning
2009 Senatorial photo

Congress

Following his sterling pitching career, Bunning went on to be a good Congressman from Kentucky, serving 12 years as a Representative and 12 years as a Senator. Jim Bunning served America nobly as a staunchly conservative voice in both houses, speaking out against spending and taxes and opposing obamacare. The Christian Coalition gave him a 100% rating on Christian family values.

Bunning was particularly strict regarding abortion. He always voted pro-life, consistently voting to limit abortion whenever possible. He scorned colleagues who succumbed to pressure and weakened their position on the issue.

Regarding abortion Bunning said, “My training, from the very first day that I was trained as a kid, was that anything like that was wrong. Not only legally wrong, but morally wrong.”

Admirers called Bunning principled. Critics called him rigid. But rigid is good if your position is right. Rigidity is only a problem if your position is wrong.

In his retirement speech from the Senate in December 2010, Bunning defended his values and uncompromising ways. Speaking from the desk once occupied by Kentucky’s great orator and master of the Senate, Henry Clay, Bunning said,
“I have been booed by 60,000 fans at Yankee Stadium standing alone at the pitcher’s mound, so I have never really cared if I stood alone here in Congress, as long as I stood by my beliefs and my values. I have also thought that being able to throw a curve ball never was a bad skill for a politician to have.”

Baseball Hall of Fame Plaque

Perfect Father’s Day 1964

Bunning and his wife Mary Catherine had nine children, five daughters and four sons. On Father’s Day 1964, Bunning’s wife Mary and their oldest daughter Barbara came to New York to watch the Phillies play the Mets. Jim was to pitch the first game of a double-header.

By the fifth inning, Bunning had a perfect game going. But after one out, the Mets’ big catcher Jesse Gonder hit a screaming line drive between first and second that looked like a sure hit. Somehow 2nd-baseman Tony Taylor knocked the ball down, crawled after it, and threw from his knees to nail Gonder for the out.

Later Bunning commented that this was the biggest defensive play of the game. He said of his pitch that Gonder smacked, “It was the only straight change-up I threw in the whole game. The only one. And Tony made that spectacular play. And I thought, this has got the makings of something special.”

In the top of the sixth inning, Bunning himself helped break the game open with a 2-run bases-clearing double to give the Phillies a 6-0 lead.

In the ninth inning even the Mets fans began cheering for Bunning, because this was potentially a historic occasion. No National League pitcher had thrown a perfect game since 1880. However, Casey Stengel, manager of the Mets, sent in two pinch hitters in the bottom of the ninth for the last two outs in an attempt to break up Bunning’s no-hitter and perfect game.

As the first pinch hitter, George Altman, strode to the plate, Bunning motioned for his catcher Gus Triandos. Thinking Bunning wanted to discuss pitching strategy, Triandos was stunned when Bunning asked Triandos to tell a joke. Later Bunning said, “I know it relaxed me, and I hoped it relaxed the whole team.” Tension heightened when Altman smashed a long fly to right that eventually hooked foul for strike one. He fouled the next pitch behind home plate for strike two. Bunning threw the third strike past the swinging Altman for out two.

Now everyone was standing, wild with excitement. One out left to get a perfect game. Stengel sent pinch hitter John Stephenson to the plate in a last attempt to stop Bunning. Bunning remembered Stephenson had trouble with curve balls, so he started with two curve balls. Stephenson swung and missed the first and watched the second cut the corner for a called strike two. Now after two curve balls, what would you throw? A fastball? Bunning threw another curve, and Stephenson swung and missed. Strike three. Game over.

A perfect game! No hits, no runners, 27 straight outs. 90 pitches and 10 strikeouts. Six strikeouts in the last three innings. Only four balls reached the outfield. Bunning had a three-ball count on only two batters. 6-0 Phillies over Mets.

No Jinx for Jim

An unusual aspect of this game was how Bunning defied superstition throughout the game. Baseball players are generally very superstitious. In particular they strongly feel that no one should talk about a no-hitter in progress for fear that such talk will “jinx” the event.

However, during the game Bunning kept talking to his teammates, urging them to “dive, do something to get this perfect game.” Catcher Gus Triandos said Bunning was “jabbering like a magpie” throughout the game. Bunning said, “I talked all the time that day. I was trying to relax my teammates.”

Several weeks earlier Bunning had almost pitched a no-hitter and observed the superstition by sitting mute by himself at the end of the dugout. Since the superstition didn’t work, he dismissed it. He decided that keeping quiet didn’t work.

Bunning made rational a observation, drew a logical conclusion, and acted on it. This reminds me of the Apostle Paul’s instruction:
“…Think so as to have sound judgment…” (Romans 12:3)

Bunning did not allow notions of “luck” to rule his life. See No Luck At All.

Questions to Ponder

1. Are you bold enough to consider a striking career shift to impact your neighborhood or country for righteousness?
2. What do you say when everyone around you is jittery about a jinx?

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

Soli Deo Gloria.

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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 May 31, 2017 A.D.

Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 24, 2017

Science in the Bible – Quarantine

(2 Minute Read)

The Black Death (including the form known as Bubonic Plague) peaked in Europe 1346-1353. Estimates of deaths in Eurasia range from 75 million to 200 million. Historians estimate the epidemic wiped out 45-60% of the population.

Quarantines could have helped limit the spread of this deadly disease, but except for the city of Dubrovnik in Croatia, they were not used. Dubrovnik required a 40-day isolation before allowing people entry to the city. This 40-day period is the origin of the word quarantine, from the Italian meaning “forty days.”

Until the 1700s, many in science and medicine thought diseases like the Black Death were caused by poisonous air. Eventually scientists discovered that microbes spread disease from one person to another, and they realized it would be possible to contain disease with quarantines.

Centuries earlier, however, around 1500 BC, the Israelites under Moses practiced medical quarantine at Yahweh’s direction. Those with contagious diseases had to live alone outside the camp until they recovered their health.

As for the leper who has the infection, his clothes shall be torn, and the hair of his head shall be uncovered, and he shall cover his mustache and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ He shall remain unclean all the days during which he has the infection; he is unclean. He shall live alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp. (Leviticus 13:45-46 NASB)

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the sons of Israel that they send away from the camp every leper and everyone having a discharge and everyone who is unclean because of a dead person. You shall send away both male and female; you shall send them outside the camp so that they will not defile their camp where I dwell in their midst.” The sons of Israel did so and sent them outside the camp; just as the Lord had spoken to Moses, thus the sons of Israel did. (Numbers 5:1-4 NASB)

Sound health principles have been in the Bible for thousands of years. Likewise, the good news of eternal health is also given in the Bible in John 3:16.

Science Catches Up to the Bible

Three thousand years before man understood the reasons for quarantines, Yahweh instructed Israel under Moses to quarantine infectious diseases in order to preserve the health of the nation.

How was Moses able to write about this so long before other men understood it?

Although the Bible is not primarily a science textbook, it does hint at many scientific truths like this one and like those mentioned in this Science in the Bible series, truths that long pre-date their discovery by today’s scientists. This is strong evidence of divine authorship of the Bible.

Questions to Ponder

1. Would quarantine be a good idea today for sexually transmitted diseases?
2. How would you answer someone who protests that Old Testament quarantine regulations were hurtful to a person’s self-esteem?

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

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 12th in the Science in the Bible series of blog posts. While there is much science connected with Creation and Noah’s Flood, this series will focus on lesser known scientific truths that were alluded to in the Bible long before they were known to scientists.
Read the prequels:
1. Science in the Bible – Blood
2. Science in the Bible – Ocean Currents
3. Science in the Bible – Undersea Mountains
4. Science in the Bible – Ocean Reservoirs
5. Science in the Bible – Good Medicine
6. Science in the Bible – Round Earth
7. Science in the Bible – Don’t Marry Kin
8. Science in the Bible – Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
9. Science in the Bible – Hanging Earth
10. Science in the Bible – Thermodynamics
11. Science in the Bible – Water Cycle

Read the sequel:
13. Science in the Bible – Starry Host

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!

See the Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday May 24, 2017 A.D.

Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 17, 2017

Science in the Bible – Water Cycle

(2 Minute Read)

Thousands of rivers hourly disgorge billions of gallons of water into the oceans.

For example, the Mississippi River alone pours over six million gallons of water into the Gulf of Mexico every second.

What is the source of all this water that keeps pouring into the oceans?
Where does all the water go?
Why doesn’t the sea level rise?

The answer to these questions was not understood until the 17th century when French scientists Pierre Perrault (c. 1608–1680) and Edme Mariotte (c. 1620–1684) developed the concept of the hydrologic cycle.

Hydrologic Water Cycle

1. Water from rivers flows into the oceans.
2. Water evaporates from the oceans into clouds.
3. Water returns to land in the form of rain from clouds.
4. Water drains from the land back into the rivers.

Amazingly, the Bible alluded to this water cycle thousands of years before Perrault and Mariotte figured it out. The Biblical authors credited it to the Creator.

The prophet Amos writing 2,800 years ago said,
He who calls for the waters of the sea
And pours them out on the face of the earth,
The Lord is His name.
(Amos 9:6 NASB)

The book of Job (circa 2000 BC) says,
For He draws up the drops of water,
They distill rain from the mist,
Which the clouds pour down,
They drip upon man abundantly.
(Job 36:27-28 NASB)
He wraps up the waters in His clouds,
And the cloud does not burst under them.
(Job 26:8 NASB)

Solomon (circa 950 BC) said,
All the rivers flow into the sea,
Yet the sea is not full.
To the place where the rivers flow,
There they flow again.
(Ecclesiastes 1:7 NASB)

Science Catches Up to the Bible

Ancient thinkers like Aristotle (384–322 BC) did not understand the origin of rain. And they could not figure out why the sea level never rose despite the influx of waters from great rivers. But thousands of years ago the Bible hinted at the hydrologic cycle of evaporation, atmospheric transportation, distillation, and precipitation which today’s meteorologists understand.

How were the Biblical authors able to write about this so long before other men understood it?

Although the Bible is not primarily a science textbook, it does hint at many scientific truths like these and like those mentioned in this Science in the Bible series, truths that long pre-date their discovery by today’s scientists. This is strong evidence of divine authorship of the Bible.

Questions to Ponder

1. Do complaints about rainy weather honor the Creator?
2. Why does it take scientists so long to discover things when the clues are in the Bible all along?

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

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 11th in the Science in the Bible series of blog posts. While there is much science connected with Creation and Noah’s Flood, this series will focus on lesser known scientific truths that were alluded to in the Bible long before they were known to scientists.
Read the prequels:
1. Science in the Bible – Blood
2. Science in the Bible – Ocean Currents
3. Science in the Bible – Undersea Mountains
4. Science in the Bible – Ocean Reservoirs
5. Science in the Bible – Good Medicine
6. Science in the Bible – Round Earth
7. Science in the Bible – Don’t Marry Kin
8. Science in the Bible – Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
9. Science in the Bible – Hanging Earth
10. Science in the Bible – Thermodynamics

Read the sequel:
12. Science in the Bible – Quarantine

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!

See the Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday May 17, 2017 A.D.

Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 10, 2017

The Great Interrupter

(5 Minute Read)

Do you like to be interrupted? Few people do. Rarely do we express gratitude for an interruption. Hardly ever do we think, “I’m so glad he interrupted me.”

Why do we hate interruptions so much? Is it because we are too prideful? Do we think what we are saying or doing is more important than our interrupter’s contribution?

The Great Interrupter of history is God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. Yahweh specializes in divine interruptions which change the course of history. I am thankful for His interruptions. Here are ten of Yahweh’s big interruptions recorded in the Bible.

1. Noah’s Flood

Yahweh interrupted man’s wickedness with Noah’s Flood. Yahweh interrupted Noah’s life by assigning him the Ark Project. This Flood interruption changed the course of history by destroying the world of Noah’s day (2 Peter 3:6).

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. … Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood… (Genesis 6:5, 13-14)
Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth. … The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. … All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. (Genesis 7:17-23)

2. Tower of Babel

At Babel Yahweh interrupted man’s disobedient refusal to fill the earth after the Flood, by confusing tongues and dispersing mankind across the earth. Yahweh’s Tower of Babel interruption changed the course of history as a result of the global population dispersal and the many new languages.

Tower of Babel

The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth. (Genesis 11:5-9)

3. Abraham

Yahweh interrupted Abraham’s happy life in Ur and Haran and told him to move to Canaan. This interruption changed the course of history by leading to the founding of the Hebrew nation.

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you. And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great. And so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. (Genesis 12:1-5)

4. Moses & the Burning Bush

Yahweh interrupted Moses with a Burning Bush while he was quietly tending sheep in the desert, in order to commission him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. This Burning Bush interruption changed the course of history for millions of Israelites.

Moses & the Burning Bush

Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. … God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:1-10)

5. Pharaoh

Yahweh interrupted Pharaoh with Ten Plagues and destroyed Egypt, to show who was God. This interruption changed the course of history by releasing Israel from Egypt.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. For this time I will send all My plagues on you and your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth. For if by now I had put forth My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, you would then have been cut off from the earth. But, indeed, for this reason I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth.” (Exodus 9:13-16)
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and how I performed My signs among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.” (Exodus 10:1-2)

6. King David

Yahweh interrupted the life of a shepherd boy and transformed him into Israel’s greatest king and the author of half the psalms. This interruption changed the course of history for David son of Jesse, for Israel, and for everyone who reads the Old Testament.

“Now therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth. … Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’” (2 Samuel 7:8-9, 16)

7. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon

Yahweh interrupted Nebuchadnezzar’s glorious reign with a period of insanity until he recognized that the Most High is the supreme ruler over mankind. This interruption changed the course of history through humbling the ruler of the most powerful nation in the world.

Beastly Nebuchadnezzar

All this happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king. Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. The king reflected and said, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?’ While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.’ Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.
“But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; … so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”
(Daniel 4:28-37)

8. Mary

Yahweh sent the angel Gabriel to interrupt Mary in her plans to marry Joseph and settle down to a peaceful family life as the wife of a carpenter. Gabriel informed her that she was to conceive and give birth to the Son of God before intimacy with Joseph. This interruption changed the course of history by resulting in the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Savior of the world.

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:26-35)

Statue of Peter in Capernaum

Statue of Peter in Capernaum

9. Peter & John

Jesus of Nazareth interrupted Peter and John on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. They expected to be fishermen, but Jesus interrupted and transformed them into fishers of men. This Sea of Galilee interruption changed the course of history, resulting in men who led the founding of Christianity and wrote Gospels and epistles that are still revered two thousand years later.

Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He *said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. (Matthew 4:18-22)

10. Saul of Tarsus

Jesus Christ interrupted Saul’s murderous persecution of believers with a blinding divine appearance on the Damascus Road. He transformed Saul into the Apostle to the Gentiles and the explicator of the theology of Christianity. This Damascus Road interruption changed the course of history resulting in the writing of half the New Testament.

As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. (Acts 9:3-8)

The Great Interrupter sovereignly watches over the earth and over all mankind. He interrupts in big and small ways to effect His perfect will (Ephesians 1:9-11).

Questions to Ponder

1. How has the Great Interrupter interrupted your life?
2. When facing an unexpected shift in the expected pattern of your life, what difference would it make to bow to the Great Interrupter?

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

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday May 10, 2017 A.D.

“But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;
For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
But He does according to His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’
At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”
(Daniel 4:34-37)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 3, 2017

Kepler & Henry Catch a Squirrel

(3 Minute Read)

Kepler & BibleScienceGuy

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

Master is the BibleScienceGuy, and he has been encouraging me to write more. He says folks like the way I think and like to hear what I have to say.

So today I want to tell you about our recent indoor hunting adventure.

Squirrel Chase

On a recent Monday at 6 a.m., Henry and I began calling Master urgently. Usually we are quiet in our kennel crates, but this time we had good reason to be agitated. We were very excited because a small gray squirrel had invaded the family room.

I do not allow squirrels in our house, and I wanted to dispatch it with all due speed. Henry and I were intensely eager to get after it.

But Missus was concerned about too much havoc in the house if two dogs were out chasing the squirrel, so Master let me out first.

This was a very fast smart squirrel. He hid under the TV cabinet, and I couldn’t get under the cabinet to get him. Missus shooed him out with a broom, and he took off with me in hot pursuit. He ran around in the kitchen, dining room, living room, and front hall. We have linoleum and hardwood floors in these areas, and I just couldn’t keep my footing racing around tight corners after Mr. Squirrel. Master laughed at me, because I skidded and slipped and tumbled time after time as I chased Mr. Squirrel. Then he would run back under the TV cabinet.

I think we should have dirt floors in the house, because I need to make sharp turns without slipping. But Master says we have to accommodate Missus on the floors.

Missus likes to pour soapy water on the floor and rub and rub and rub. It wears me out me just to watch her. I have no idea why she likes to do this. Usually she’s quite sensible. Master said she couldn’t do her Soapy Water Rubbing Thing with dirt floors, so we have to keep the linoleum.

I told Master that our floors give squirrels an advantage, but he said Missus trumps squirrels.

I asked Master why Missus likes to do her Soapy Water Rubbing Thing. He said it’s hard to explain, but if I listened better when his audio Bible was playing, he said I would have heard a verse to help me understand. Master thinks Missus is an excellent wife who “looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:27)

Master told me that Missus’ favorite Book instructs wives to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored (Titus 2:5). I guess Missus takes that very seriously. But why couldn’t she still have nice dirt floors with plenty of traction — along with interesting scents?

I think this Soapy Water Rubbing Thing may be a woman thing. I think the Creator built it into Missus’ DNA — just like He put it in my DNA to catch squirrels. So Missus can’t keep from rubbing soapy water on floors, just like I can’t keep from chasing squirrels and barking at them.

Anyway, I couldn’t catch Mr. Squirrel because of his tight cornering. Master decided to let Henry out to help me. Henry and I know innately how to hunt like a pack. (Can you guess how we know? Right, the Creator built it into our dog DNA.)

The official Backyard Squirrel Patrol — Captain Kepler & Lieutenant Henry — sprang into instant action. It was all over in seconds. We got him! We ripped open his belly, and blood dripped all over as we played tug-of-war with Mr. Squirrel — Henry on one end and me on the other. Each of us was frantic to claim the prize.

Missus grabbed Henry up and took him outside. I took Mr. Squirrel under the desk and posed for this photo.

Eventually Master took Mr. Squirrel and did something with him. I hope Master skinned him and cut him up for our food bowls. I went around cleaning up the mess after the squirrel chase. I licked up all the squirrel blood — yummy!

I’m already looking forward to our next guest squirrel. I try to keep squirrels and chipmunks out of our yard, but for the most part they stay just out of reach — with one exception.

Master and I have no idea how squirrels keep getting inside the house. I do not mind this as much as he does, because I enjoy solving the problem. These chases are highlights for me. Here are accounts of my previous squirrel and chipmunk adventures:
Kepler & the Psycho Squirrel
Taunting Kepler
Who Taught Kepler?
Kepler Chases a Squirrel

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

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

Questions to Ponder

1. What innate behavior by your pet amazes you with God’s design?
2. If your pets could talk, what choices in your life would grab their attention?

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

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 17th article in a series of blog posts on our Jack Russell terrier Kepler. Numbers 1-8 are by Master. Numbers 9-17 are by Kepler.
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 posts 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

Read the sequel:
18. Kepler Finds Killdeer Eggs

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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 May 3, 2017 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 | April 26, 2017

Science in the Bible – Thermodynamics

(3 Minute Read)

Memorial Stone for Rudolf Clausius
In front of Koszalin University of Technology,
with Clausius’ two Laws of Thermodynamics.
Koszalin, Poland
(Click to enlarge and read Polish plaque.)

The First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics are fundamental physical laws of the universe.

The First Law of Thermodynamics, also known as the Law of Conservation of Energy, states that the sum total of matter and energy in the universe is constant. One form of energy or matter may be converted into another form, but the total quantity stays the same.

For example, trees convert sunlight (energy) into wood (matter) using photosynthesis. A campfire converts wood back into energy — heat and light. But the total sum of the matter and energy in the universe remains constant throughout these changes.

Neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed, only transformed. The relationship between matter and energy is given by Einstein’s famous equation, E = mc2.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics, also known as the Law of Entropy, says that the universe is running down and increasing in disorder (entropy is a measure of disorder).

These laws of thermodynamics were first stated in the 1850’s by German mathematician and physicist Rudolf Clausius (1822–1888).

Interestingly, the Bible clearly hinted at both principles in common language thousands of years previously.

First Law of Thermodynamics in the Bible

Yahweh created matter and energy in the beginning:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1) – Matter created.
God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light (Genesis 1:3) – Energy created.

Upon finishing Creation, Genesis reports
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. (Genesis 2:1-2)

The Hebrew word for completed is kalah (כָּלָה, Strong’s 3615). It means “completed, finished, at an end.” The use of the past definite tense for the Hebrew verb indicates action completed in the past, never to occur again. Creation was finished and done. Matter and energy are no longer being created.

Speaking of the Son of God, Scripture says,
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17)
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. (Hebrews 1:1-3)
These verses imply that matter cannot be destroyed because the Son of God holds all things together by His word.

These Biblical truths foreshadow the First Law of Thermodynamics which says that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed. Creation is finished as Genesis says; it is preserved and held together as the New Testament says.

Second Law of Thermodynamics in the Bible

Of old You founded the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
Even they will perish, but You endure;
And all of them will wear out like a garment;
Like clothing You will change them and they will be changed.
(Psalm 102:25-26)

You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth,
And the heavens are the works of Your hands;
They will perish, but You remain;
And they all will become old like a garment,
And like a mantle You will roll them up;
Like a garment they will also be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will not come to an end.
(Hebrews 1:10-12)

This universe-wide disintegration began with Yahweh’s curse following Adam’s sin:
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”
(Genesis 3:17-19)

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (Romans 8:20-22)

The Bible teaches that the universe is deteriorating and running down. This foreshadows the Second Law of Thermodynamics which was discovered less than two centuries ago. The Bible’s teachings on this were written by Moses 3500 years ago, by the Psalmist 3000 years ago, and by the Apostle Paul 2000 years ago.

In contrast, the theory of evolution directly contradicts the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Evolutionary theory says things are increasing in complexity and order. The Second Law and the Bible say things are running down and becoming more disorderly. Which one is right? Which one coheres with experience?

Science Catches Up to the Bible

The Bible alludes to two fundamental physical principles — matter and energy are not being created or destroyed, and the universe is running down. Thousands of years before today’s scientists formulated the First & Second Laws of Thermodynamics, the Bible pointed to these truths.

Although the Bible is not primarily a science textbook, it does hint at many scientific truths like these and like those mentioned in this Science in the Bible series, truths that long pre-date their discovery by today’s scientists. This is strong evidence of divine authorship of the Bible.

Questions to Ponder
  1. If the matter and energy in the universe always remains a constant sum, how does that pose a challenge for evolutionists?
  2. Which do you personally observe — things increasing in complexity and order, or things running down and becoming more disorderly?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the tenth in the Science in the Bible series of blog posts. While there is much science connected with Creation and Noah’s Flood, this series will focus on lesser known scientific truths that were alluded to in the Bible long before they were known to scientists.
Read the prequels:
1. Science in the Bible – Blood
2. Science in the Bible – Ocean Currents
3. Science in the Bible – Undersea Mountains
4. Science in the Bible – Ocean Reservoirs
5. Science in the Bible – Good Medicine
6. Science in the Bible – Round Earth
7. Science in the Bible – Don’t Marry Kin
8. Science in the Bible – Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
9. Science in the Bible – Hanging Earth

Read the sequel:
11. Science in the Bible – Water Cycle

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See the 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 April 26, 2017 A.D.

Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 19, 2017

Bible-Science Conferences

(2 Minute Read)

Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson
AiG researcher & conf speaker

Where can you find answers to questions like these?
• How do dinosaurs fit in with the Bible?
• How could all the different people groups have descended from only one couple, Adam and Eve?
• Isn’t evolution settled science? How could Genesis be relevant today?
• Is radioactive dating valid?
• Was there really a worldwide flood? How long ago?
• Where does the Ice Age fit in Biblical history?
• Could the human body really have evolved?
• Does the existence of species prove evolution?
• What are the Biblical and scientific problems with the Big Bang?
• How can the theory of evolution be realistically challenged?

These questions and many others will be discussed at two free conferences Friday April 28 – Monday May 1, 2017 sponsored by the Institute for Creation Research and Answers in Genesis.

Many people do not have a Biblical worldview because of our culture’s evolutionary influence and because of not having been taught the foundational truths of Genesis. These conferences will help rectify this, as the speakers will proclaim the truth and authority of Scripture — even the literal truth of Genesis.

ICR Back to Genesis Conference, Fri – Sun, April 28-30

The Institute for Creation Research is holding a Back to Genesis Conference at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Big Rapids, Michigan on Friday April 28 – Sunday April 30, 2017. The theme of the conference is Exploring the Science of Creation with particular attention given to Human Design, Dinosaurs, Noah’s Flood, and the Ice Age.

Dr. Randy Guliuzza
ICR conference speaker

The conference speakers are medical doctor and professional engineer Dr. Randy Guliuzza, geologist Dr. Tim Clarey, and physicist Dr. Jake Hebert. Guliuzza earned his M.D. from the University of Minnesota. Clarey earned his Ph.D. in geology from Western Michigan University. Hebert earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.

ICR Conf: Schedule of Talks

Friday, April 28
6:45 p.m. Back to Genesis (Guliuzza)
7:50 p.m. Dinosaurs: Marvels of God’s Creation (Clarey)
Saturday, April 29
9:10 a.m. What You Haven’t Been Told About Radioisotope Dating (Hebert)
10:00 a.m. Made in His Image: Examining the Complexities of the Human Body (Guliuzza)
11:10 a.m. Creation Basics: a Recent Global Flood (Clarey)
1:00 p.m. The Mystery of the Ice Age (Hebert)
2:15 p.m. 5 Minutes with a Darwinist (Guliuzza)
3:00 p.m. Q & A with Speakers
Sunday, April 30
8:30 a.m. Christ’s Wisdom as Seen in Our Hands (Guliuzza)
11:00 a.m. Christ’s Wisdom as Seen in Our Hands (Guliuzza)
4:00 p.m. The Big Bang is Broken (Hebert)
5:00 p.m. Continuous Environmental Tracking: a New Model for Explaining Adaptation (Guliuzza)
6:30 p.m. Q & A with Speakers

Pre-register here for this free conference.

Here is the location and contact information for this free ICR Back to Genesis Conference:
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
408 W. Bellevue St.
Big Rapids, MI. 49307
231-796-6684

Answers in Genesis Conference, Sun – Mon, April 30 – May 1

Answers in Genesis and St. Peter Lutheran Church in St. Johns, Michigan, are co-sponsoring a free conference on Sunday April 30 and Monday May 1.

The conference speakers are research biologist Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson and AiG speaker, writer, and researcher Bodie Hodge. Jeanson earned his Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from Harvard University. Hodge earned his Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

AiG Conf: Schedule of Talks

Sunday, April 30
4:00 p.m. Creation vs. Evolution: Is Genesis Relevant? (Hodge)
6:00 p.m. The 7 C’s of History (Jeanson)
7:30 p.m. Dinosaurs and the Bible (Jeanson)
Monday, May 1
9:30 a.m. Dinosaurs, Dragons, and the Bible! (Hodge, Grades K-6)
6:00 p.m. Does Genetics Disprove Adam and Eve? (Jeanson)
7:30 p.m. Challenges to Evolution (Jeanson)

Bodie Hodge
AiG researcher & conf speaker

The conference is FREE, but space is limited. To ensure a seat, pre-register here.

Here is the location and contact information for the conference:
St. Peter Lutheran Church
8990 Church Rd.
St. Johns, MI 48879
989-224-3178
church@stpeterriley.org

Conferences

To find ICR conferences or events near you, click ICR Event Map & List.

To find Answers in Genesis conferences or events near you, click AiG Event Calendar.

I have been to many Answers in Genesis conferences and many ICR Back to Genesis conferences, and they are always good. I plan to attend both of these conferences. If you come to one as well, look for me. I always enjoy meeting readers.

Questions to Ponder
  1. What Bible-Science question would you like to have answered at a conference?
  2. What can you do to encourage your own church to participate in conferences like these?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday April 19, 2017 A.D.

It is Yahweh who made the earth by His power, who established the world by His wisdom. By His understanding He stretched out the heavens. (Jeremiah 10:12)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 12, 2017

The Case for Christ, the Movie

(8 Minute Read)

An intriguing movie hits sixteen hundred theaters nationwide this month beginning on April 7. In order to save his marriage, an avowed atheist seeks to disprove the Resurrection with a rigorous detective-like investigation. But he is surprised by what his analysis uncovers.

The Case for Christ, the movie, is based on the true story of award-winning journalist Lee Strobel. He is a confident atheist who is determined to disprove his wife’s newfound Christian faith. He applies his well-honed investigative and legal skills to try to disprove the Resurrection of Jesus and thereby recover his wife. However, compelled by the hard evidence he finds and the reality of Christ in lives around him, he becomes a believer in Jesus Christ.

The movie stars Mike Vogel as Lee Strobel and Erika Christensen as his wife Leslie.

Lee Strobel was the hard-driving legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. The movie shows him using his journalistic skills and legal training in an attempt to debunk the keystone of Christianity, the Resurrection. When his determined atheism crashes against his wife’s growing Christian faith, he decides to save his strained marriage by showing the Resurrection was a hoax.

Commenting on the film, Strobel said, “The film gives the dramatic story behind the story of a man with personal animosity for Christianity who used journalistic and legal techniques to evaluate its claims. The Case for Christ takes audiences on an exciting journey from skepticism to belief.”

“It’s a little uncomfortable, to be honest, because it’s an honest film, and so the good, the bad, and the ugly are up there on the screen. I was not the most pleasant character around when I was a narcissistic, heavy-drinking, self-destructive, self-absorbed atheist, but that’s in the film, and that’s okay if it helps people. I hope that there’d be some skeptics out there who maybe start their own spiritual journey after seeing the movie.”
(Lee Strobel, Interview of Lee and Leslie Strobel by Warren Smith, April 7, 2017.)

The movie intertwines Strobel’s investigative work on the Resurrection with the story of his marriage struggles as told in the couple’s jointly-authored book Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage.

The movie is based on Strobel’s best-selling 1998 book The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus which has sold over 14 million copies worldwide. The book focuses on 13 scholarly authorities that Strobel interviewed about the historical evidence for the Resurrection.

Mike Vogel plays journalist Lee Strobel in the Chicago Tribune newsroom

A good bit of the action takes place in the Chicago Tribune newsroom where Strobel is the legal editor. Across an entire wall is a sign that appears in many scenes:

“If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”

This theme of scrupulously checking everything out — investigative journalist as consummate fact checker — undergirds the whole story and is a thread running through all of the concerns and actions.

“Check It Out” is a Biblical principle as well. The Apostle Paul instructed the believers at Thessalonica to check it out:
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good. (1 Thess 5:21 NASB)

Dr. Luke, the author of the third Gospel, begins his account by saying he checked it out:
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:1-4 NASB)

In the book of Acts, Dr. Luke praises the Bereans for checking out what Paul taught by comparing it with the Old Testament Scriptures:
The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men. (Acts 17:10-12 NASB)

Strobel even runs his research like a detective investigator, setting up his own “situation room” with diagrams and interrelated notes and displays covering the walls and white boards.

Movie Trailer

Here is a trailer for The Case for Christ, the movie.

Movie Synopsis

When the Strobel’s daughter Alison is choking to death at a restaurant, nearby nurse Alfie Davis (L. Scott Caldwell) helps save the child. Davis had intended to go to another restaurant that night but changed her plans at the last minute. When Lee calls her presence “lucky,” Alfie cheerfully responds, “It’s not luck, it’s Jesus.” (See No Luck At All.)

Regarding Alfie’s help in the crisis, Leslie asks, “What if you hadn’t been there?” Alfie’s reply is gripping: “There is no ‘what if’ with God.”

Later Leslie asks Alfie “How can you be so sure?” Alfie says “Do you really WANT an answer to that?”

We particularly appreciated Alfie’s Socratic approach throughout her interaction with Lee and Leslie as the nurse amiably turned questions back on the questioner. Leslie accepts Alfie’s church invitation, and shortly atheist Lee Strobel finds himself married to a Christian.

Lee begins an intense pursuit of the truth about the Resurrection, hoping to prove it false and restore his wife to atheism. He interviews world-renowned experts in archaeology, history, theology, philosophy, psychology, and medicine with doctorates from schools like Cambridge, Princeton, and Brandeis.

Strobel challenges the experts with perceptive questions:
Are the New Testament manuscripts reliable?
Does evidence for Jesus exist outside the Bible?
Is there any reason to believe the Resurrection was a real event?

When Strobel tells one expert that the Resurrection account is more legend than history, the response is, “Nine ancient sources inside and outside Scripture testify to the historical nature of the Resurrection.”

Strobel experiences a parallel struggle on his paper’s crime beat that provides intriguing drama and suspense. Its outcome aids his analysis of his own position in the Resurrection investigation, as he realizes that his bias has led him to misinterpret evidence. When he apologized to a victim for misreporting a story and said, “I missed the truth,” the person answered, “You didn’t want to see it.” This changed Strobel’s view of the evidence for the Resurrection he had collected.

His mentor in the newsroom and fellow skeptic Ray Nelson (Brett Rice) said, “Even in disbelief you take a leap of faith.” This is a tremendously important point that most unbelievers completely overlook.

“Do you really want to know the truth,
or is your mind already made up,
regardless of the facts?”

-Philosopher William Lane Craig to Strobel

Strobel’s wife and daughter don’t know that he is digging into the Resurrection, but their love for him still impacts him. Leslie tells him, “I love you now more than I ever have. Ever since I accepted Jesus my love for you has only grown.” He replies that he doesn’t like “this version of us” and can’t see staying around forever with their different beliefs.

When Allison goes through a frightening experience and afterward tells her father, “We prayed and everything got better,” Lee is only annoyed by their expressions of faith.

Strobel can’t shake a particular note he made early in the case:
“500 witnesses saw Jesus after the resurrection.”
“Are the manuscripts reliable?” he wonders.

Regarding the reliability of the New Testament manuscripts, Strobel has an extended discussion with Father Marquez, an archaeologist-turned-priest. Marquez (a composite character played by Miguel Perez) says that we evaluate the NT manuscripts the same as any document. He briefly explains textual criticism: how many copies exist? And are the early copies generated close to the event?

He compares the New Testament to Homer’s Iliad which is the other best-evidenced manuscript in existence. The Iliad has an impressive 1565 copies, and yet the earliest copy we have is 1100 years after the original.

The archaeologist tells Strobel that the Greek NT has an astonishing 5893 copies; that number continues to haunt Strobel. He keeps flashing back to his sticky note: 5893 copies. Furthermore, the earliest copy of the Gospel of John came less than 30 years after the events it records. In contrast Sophocles–a document we have confidence in–has only 100 copies. Plato has seven copies. Aristotle has only five.

Strobel suggests to philosopher William Lane Craig (Rus Blackwell), “Maybe Jesus’ body was never there in the tomb?” Craig replies that the gospels specifically record that Jesus was properly buried.

Strobel points out that the witnesses were women and that was deemed unreliable in that day. Craig says that’s significant; it’s an element that someone would never make up. A manufactured story would never read that way. He says, “The disciples reported what happened and let the chips fall where they may.”

Strobel is concerned about contradictions, and he feels the Gospel accounts seem jumbled. For example, who exactly was at the tomb? Craig says these differences are not troubling, because the core of the story is the same. The police know if the details of witness accounts are too similar, then that’s suspect.

Craig asks Strobel gripping questions:
“Do you really want to know the truth, or is your mind already made up, regardless of the facts?”
“When is enough evidence ….enough evidence??”

Faye Dunaway plays psychology professor Dr. Roberta Waters who makes one of the most incisive points of the movie. Strobel asks her whether over 500 eyewitnesses could have jointly hallucinated in claiming to have seen the resurrected Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:6).

Dunaway’s agnostic psychologist stuns Strobel with, “That would have been an even bigger miracle than the Resurrection.” She assures Strobel that mass psychosis is simply not possible: “500 people can’t have the same dream.” Strobel has no answer for this agnostic professor’s expert opinion.

Strobel wonders if perhaps Jesus was only injured, did not die, and later recovered? He interviews physician and research scientist Dr. Alexander Metherell (Tom Nowicki), a medical doctor who has extensively studied the medical evidence. Metherell explains the physiology of crucifixion and the medical details of Jesus’ death. Medically, the swoon theory is rubbish.

Do I Recommend the Movie?

Yes, without reservation. My wife and I watched it on opening weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s one of the best faith-genre movies I’ve ever seen. The tension of the marriage relationship of a new believer with an adamant atheist made for a gripping story. The fact that it’s a true story makes it even more engaging.

Production values are excellent. It’s visually very satisfying and the acting is superb. The characters feel genuine, and their interactions feel authentic.

The movie did a good job weaving key points into dialogue throughout the movie. Instead of long preachy segments, it was mostly brief conversations to bring out the important points. Excellent story-telling kept the viewer engaged throughout the movie.

How does one turn a nonfiction book about evidence for Christianity into an absorbing, compelling film? Somehow the movie crew pulled it off.

I recommend the movie for Christians and non-Christians alike. It can stir hearts and prompt people to look into the Resurrection more thoroughly. The movie comes down solidly on the side of an authentic resurrection.

Is There Real Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ?

Two key areas of evidence: the empty tomb and the eyewitnesses. Only the Bible explains both these two key facts: the missing body and the eyewitnesses who said they saw Him alive. The explanation is that Jesus actually physically rose from the dead.

Did the disciples steal the body while the guards slept? This is what the Roman guards claimed as urged by the Jewish leaders who promised protection and money (Matthew 28:11-15). But how would the guards know who stole the body if they were asleep? Besides, Roman soldiers didn’t fall asleep on the job. They had a strong incentive to keep each other awake, because the penalty for sleeping was death.

Risen Crucifixion

Why is the death of Christ essential to the Gospel? It is by Christ’s death that God’s wrath is turned away from sinners who trust Christ (Romans 3:21-26).

Why is the Resurrection essential to the Gospel? Because it vindicated Christ’s claim to be the Son of God. Because it validated the efficacy of His sacrifice for sin — if the Resurrection did not occur, then we are still in our sins and subject to God’s wrath and judgment. Because it displayed Christ’s victory over death. (Romans 1:4; 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:17-19,21-22)

Intriguingly, the Apostle Paul used Genesis to explain why Jesus died and the significance of His resurrection. Paul knew Genesis was a firm foundation for his theological explanation of the Gospel. (1 Corinthians 15:21-22,45-49)

Paul’s “died…buried…raised” sequence of 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 clearly teaches the Resurrection was literal and physical. The body that died by public execution was the same body that was buried by Joseph and Nicodemus. This same physical body that was buried is what Paul says was raised. This refutes the popular notion that the Resurrection was merely “spiritual” (whatever that means).

The significance of the burial is that it proved His actual death. Covered with 100 pounds of aromatic spices and bound head to toe in linen wrappings, Jesus was buried by two prominent members of the Jewish Sanhedrin: Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, called “the teacher of Israel” by Jesus. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and other Galilean women witnessed the burial in Joseph’s own tomb. The tomb was closed with a massive stone, officially sealed, and guarded by soldiers.

Why didn’t the authorities just go to the tomb
and bring out the body? That’s all it would take
to disprove the Resurrection.

Jesus’ death was attested by both friends and enemies, including battle-hardened Roman soldiers who knew death when they saw it. In all history, these contemporaries are the people best qualified to evaluate whether Jesus actually died or not. At the time nobody had even the slightest doubt that He was dead. It was an accepted fact confirmed by the burial.

The significance of Jesus’ appearances to eyewitnesses is that they verified the Resurrection. In all, Scripture records at least 11 different appearances after the Resurrection, in at least 9 geographical locations spread over 150 miles. They began 3 days after the Crucifixion in Jerusalem, where He was crucified and buried. Jesus appeared to individuals, to groups, and even to a crowd of over 500. These were extended daylight interactions, not brief glimpses. Meals were shared, conversations developed, activities enjoyed. From personal encounters with the risen Christ, hundreds of people in all walks of life knew Jesus rose from the dead.

The tomb was empty. The disciples began preaching the Resurrection there in Jerusalem. Their message could not have been sustained for even an hour unless all parties accepted the empty tomb as fact. All it would take to extinguish Christianity at its inception would be for the Sanhedrin to look in the tomb and produce the body. How hard could it be to find the body from a public execution, buried by Jewish leaders before witnesses in a government-guarded tomb? This they could not do, because it was not there.

How hard could it be to find the body from a
public execution, buried by Jewish leaders before
witnesses in a government-guarded tomb?

The disciples changed from craven cowards evading authorities before the Resurrection to bold witnesses defying government suppression afterwards. Discouraged, dejected, despairing men were suddenly energized to ignite a revolution which encircled the globe; 2,000 years later it still impacts millions.

What so profoundly transformed them? These men, Jesus’ closest confidants, could not have been fooled about the Resurrection. They knew whether Jesus had been raised. Most died for their certainty that Jesus rose from the dead. Men do not die for what they think may be false. Remember how fast the Watergate conspiracy fell apart, everyone scrambling to save his skin.

Impossible?

Some object, “It’s scientifically impossible to rise from the dead!” Generally, yes, resurrection is highly unlikely. But Jesus was no ordinary man. Consider His words predicting death and resurrection. Consider His claims to be God and to be the Truth. Consider His faultless character and His miracles. Then the presumption switches from “unlikely” to “likely.” The real question is not, “Was it possible for Jesus to rise from the dead?” The real question is, “Was it possible for Jesus to remain dead?” Scripture says, “God raised Him up…since it was impossible for death to hold Him.” (Acts 2:24)

The reason many think “Impossible!” about the Resurrection instead of “Impossible!” about Non-Resurrection is that people evaluate evidence with sin-clouded minds. Worldview and personal morality determine explanations of Resurrection evidence, just as they determine interpretations of scientific evidence about origins. Resurrection was not what was impossible. Non-Resurrection was impossible. Christians should challenge skeptics to defend Non-Resurrection, instead of accepting the burden of proof to defend the Resurrection.

Grounded in History

The Christian faith is firmly grounded in history. The central events of the Christian faith, Christ’s Crucifixion and His bodily Resurrection, are well-attested facts of history that happened on this earth in the city of Jerusalem nearly 2000 years ago. This authenticity is crucial, for if either event did not happen, then Christianity is false and we are still in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17-19). The Gospel by which we are saved is bedrocked on actual historical events.

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

The Wager Everyone Makes

Every single human being wagers his eternal destiny on what he decides about Jesus of Nazareth. Is there a God or not? Did Jesus rise from the dead? Your answers to these questions determine your eternity. Choose wisely.

If Jesus is dead, then where is the body?

Questions to Ponder
  1. Do you have a Lee Strobel in your life — an unbeliever willing to take an honest look at the evidence for the Resurrection?
  2. How well will The Case for Christ movie reach people who are skeptical of Christianity?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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?
5. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Does It Matter?
Risen, the Movie (with video)
Is Genesis History? The Movie (with video)

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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 April 12, 2017 A.D.

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. And so she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and they were going to the tomb. And the two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter, and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. Simon Peter therefore also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he beheld the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth, which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb entered then also, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. (John 20:1-9 NASB)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 5, 2017

Science in the Bible – Hanging Earth

(2 Minute Read)

The Hindu Earth

Ancient peoples believed in a World Turtle or World Elephant or World Serpent that upheld the earth.

American Indians and Chinese believed the earth rested on the back of a giant turtle. Hindus of India believed the earth was supported by elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle.

Other ancient peoples believed that the earth was a flat disk resting on the back of a giant turtle that floated in a huge ocean. Others believed in “turtles all the way down,” with each supporting turtle standing on the back of a larger one.

The Mayans of Mexico believed the earth and sky were supported by four jaguars, a white one in the north, red in the east, yellow in the south, and black in the west.

In Norse mythology, a gigantic tree, called the World Tree or Yggdrasil, supported the earth.

None of the post-Flood ancients believed the earth hung in space without support. That was clearly an insane idea. Something had to hold up the earth.

Tower of Turtles

Except for the Hebrews — they believed Yahweh hung the earth floating in space without a visible means of support.

The book of Job in the Bible dates to around 2000 BC. It records this truth about the earth:

He stretches out the north over empty space
And hangs the earth on nothing.
(Job 26:7)

Hanging the earth on nothing in empty space was inconceivable 4,000 years ago. But today we know the Bible was right.

Throughout the Old Testament, Yahweh repeatedly identifies Himself as the Creator, the One Who made heaven and earth. He is the One Who hung the earth in space on nothing, the One Who stretched out the heavens, and the One Who created the stars to shine. He is worthy of every man’s allegiance and worship.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth,
By understanding He established the heavens.
(Proverbs 3:19)

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
And marked off the heavens by the span,
And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure,
And weighed the mountains in a balance
And the hills in a pair of scales?
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
(Isaiah 40:12, 21-22)

Thus says God the Lord,
He Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
He Who spread out the earth and that which comes out of it,
He Who gives breath to the people on it
And spirit to those who walk in it.
(Isaiah 42:5)

Science Catches Up to the Bible

The Bible reports that the Creator God hung the earth in space; it’s not based on a turtle or on an elephant or on anything else. Long before today’s scientists learned Earth is a globe hanging in space, some men knew this because the Bible taught it. Although the Bible is not primarily a science textbook, it does hint at many scientific truths like this one and like those mentioned in this Science in the Bible series, truths that long pre-date their discovery by today’s scientists. This is strong evidence of divine authorship of the Bible.

Questions to Ponder
  1. How do you think the various fanciful legends about the earth got started?
  2. How will you think differently about your life, knowing Yahweh’s hand continuously sustains earth’s position? (Colossians 1:17)
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the ninth in the Science in the Bible series of blog posts. While there is much science connected with Creation and Noah’s Flood, this series will focus on lesser known scientific truths that were alluded to in the Bible long before they were known to scientists.
Read the prequels:
1. Science in the Bible – Blood
2. Science in the Bible – Ocean Currents
3. Science in the Bible – Undersea Mountains
4. Science in the Bible – Ocean Reservoirs
5. Science in the Bible – Good Medicine
6. Science in the Bible – Round Earth
7. Science in the Bible – Don’t Marry Kin
8. Science in the Bible – Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Read the sequel:
10. Science in the Bible – Thermodynamics

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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 April 5, 2017 A.D.

Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

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