Strong Delusion

In his work, The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins asserts that belief in God qualifies as a delusion: a fixed false belief which persists in light of conflicting evidence. Atheists often exude this conviction, that any belief in God is blind superstition, confident that science, logic and reason are entirely on their side.

When we’re at fault, we may find ourselves projecting our own error upon others, and then judging them mercilessly. (Rom 2:1) We find it so with many atheists, Dawkins being typical.

Just how difficult is it to prove God exists? If we’re honest with the facts, it’s relatively simple.

Consider the claim of the late Stephen Hawking, that there are only two possibilities for the origin of the universe: Either [P1] God created it ex nihilo, or [P2] The laws of physics did.

Being a committed atheist, Hawking chooses P2, positing that the laws of physics exist as creative forces independent of Nature. “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing,” he writes. “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.”

The obvious flaw in P2 is that the laws of physics actually don’t exist: they are not creative forces, merely abstract concepts describing patterns we consistently observe in Nature. So, P2 is a delusion in the proper sense of the word: a claim explicitly contrary to science.

However, Hawking is so confident in P2 that he offers no third possibility. So, in his inestimable brilliance, Hawking leaves us with a very simple choice: Deity, or Delusion. He sides with Delusion; anything but Deity, no matter how absurd. This is atheism, at its very best.

I anticipate 3 possible responses:

[R1] Hawking is no expert in this field and should not be trusted. This is easily dismissed; Hawking was an eminently reliable authority, knowing the valid options on origins and distilling them for us.

[R2] I have misrepresented Hawking’s claim. Also easily refuted with commonly available facts.

[R3] Fall back on “God of the gaps” (GOTG), and assert that P2 is a valid choice, merely one scientists can’t fully support just yet. The problem here is that GOTG is reasonable only when bridging the “gap” in question does not require contradicting all known science. Claiming we might eventually discover how something which does not exist could create everything which does exist – ex nihilo, from NOTHING — does contradict all we know from science. In this case, GOTG isn’t an argument; it’s a cop out, a refusal to consider any evidence for God at all. (Ro 1:20)

If we have already presumed there can’t be a god then we must confidently choose P2, and never P1, no matter what the data say. Though the heavens declare the glory of God (Ps 19:1), our presupposition blinds us to the obvious. This is the essence of delusion.

God will eventually send strong delusion upon all who don’t love the truth. (2Th 2:11-12) There may be thousands of poorly framed arguments for the existence of God, but this is not one of them. It only takes one to convince the honest soul. What say you: Deity or Delusion?

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They Could Not Believe

When we present reasonable evidence for a spiritual concept to someone who believes differently, why is it so rare for people to grow and change?

When our assumptions or reasonings are flawed, people should point this out with a carefully reasoned position, especially when we invite them to do so and listen intently to their concerns. So when people persistently reveal shallow, inconsistent, irrational reasons for unbelief this can be frustrating, until we consider the inherent nature of the carnal mind. (Ro 8:7)

Take for example the overwhelming historical evidence for the Resurrection of Christ. The proof is straightforward and unanswerably sound, yet it’s generally unconvincing to those who aren’t raised in church. It’s hard to fathom a more reliable testimony than the apostles have passed on to us. What does it take to convince people?

One might think miracles would help, but this is untrue historically: miracles never have convinced the masses. (Jn 12:37-38)) Neither has earnest, rational debate.  (Ac 6:10-11) There isn’t much left.

Evidently, our values determine what we notice, what we’re receptive to, and what we find credible. A temporal value system disvalues eternal things and obscures them, so Christ tells us to align our value system with God’s so we’ll be able to rightly value and perceive spiritual truth. (Mt 6:19-21) This is where we must begin: it’s the fear of God. (Pr 1:7)

When our eyes focus properly we’re able to see clearly (Mt 6:22), but when improper focus impairs our vision the light we’re seeing might as well be darkness. And if we’re mistaking darkness for light, thinking we can still see, we’re worse off than if we knew we were blind. (23)

Further, when we don’t love truth we open ourselves up to deception (2Th 2:10), inviting supernatural wickedness to further restrict our vision and perception. (2Co 4:4) No one imprisoned like this can overcome and believe on their own. (Jn 12:40)

Lack of love for the truth equates to love of the lie, which leads to making and receiving lies, which ultimately damns the soul. (Re 22:15) This disposition is evidenced in part by preferring Man’s praise to God’s, rendering us unable to perceive and receive the reality of His Son. (Jn 5:44)

Evidently, God must give us a love for truth and open our eyes in order for us to believe in and follow Him. (Jn 1:12-13) Without Him we’re dead, lifeless, oblivious to Him. (Ep 2:5) If we happen to find ourselves aware of Him, and of our need for Him, and if we’re willing to seek His face and submit to Him (He 11:6), this itself is the gift of God. (2Ti 2:25) If we pursue Him, He will give us the evidence we need and lead us into all truth (Mt 7:7-8), into Himself.

The blindness of the fallen nature is no excuse to be imprecise or irresponsible in our thinking, or in our efforts to reason with others. We should do our level best to present the truth as clearly and as articulately as we are able. (1Pe 3:15) Yet we must keep in mind that it isn’t the power and wisdom of our argument that will win the day, but the power of God. (1Co 2:5) He will enlighten those He chooses according to His pleasure and in His time.

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In Six Days

Evolutionists assert that Earth is billions of years old, so we expect some to try to interpret Scripture to accommodate an old earth. How might they do so?

Primarily by allegorizing the Creation myth and considering the days of Creation to be geologic ages, making each day as long as we like.  The general pattern of a lifeless earth (Day 1), then plants (Day 3), followed by sea creatures (Day 5), land animals and finally Man (Day 6) seems to more or less follow evolutionary sequence. It’s called the Day-Age Theory.

Obvious problems include the fact that the planet itself is created before light (Day 1), Earth, light and plants (Days 1-3) all appear before the sun, moon and stars (Day 4), birds (Day 5) come before all land animals (Day 6), and God blessing the 7th Day to start an ongoing 7-day rest cycle based on Him completing Creation in 6 days. (Ex 20:11)

Further, Adam is said to be the very first man (1Co 15:45) and his life-span is stated explicitly (Ge 5:5), along with those of all the antediluvian patriarchs (8-30) in the lineage of Christ (Lk 3:36-38), placing Creation around 4000 BCE.

So, to be consistent, we can’t simply allegorize the Creation account in isolation, we end up corrupting the integrity of Scripture throughout; its authors evidently understood the Creation account literally: if they were mistaken, they weren’t inspired. If the Day-Age Theory had any real basis in scripture, it’s difficult to explain why it appeared so late in history, only in the last 200 years. The interpretation thus appears forced in order to accommodate recent, opposing scientific claims.

Another approach, the Gap-Theory, allows for a literal interpretation of the Creation account, yet postulates a large gap between the first two verses; between the creation of the planet (Ge 1:1) and it being found formless and void. (2) This view harmonizes nicely with most scripture while providing for any age of the earth we like. However, it’s also inconsistent with the Sabbath Command (Ex 20:11), and begs the question of whether an old planet with no light or atmosphere, no sun or moon or stars, or any life form whatever as we know it, helps much to square the Word with evolutionary claims. What’s the point then?

We all choose an authority for determining what’s true, and if we earnestly want to know the truth we should insist on having no contradictions in our world view, no inconsistencies. If we accept God’s Word as Truth, in it’s entirety (Ps 119:160), then we must try to interpret it consistently, and discount unverified scientific claims, such as evolution, which contradict it. (1Ti 6:20-21)

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Thy Word Is Truth

In seeking truth, we each have a way, a protocol or methodology, for evaluating whether an idea is true: we have chosen an authority, a standard by which we evaluate truth claims. We also have a motive for pursuing truth.

In the physical realm, truth is found through the accurate perception of Creation through our senses, which are our God-given authority. Rightly knowing scientific truth requires all our sensory experiences to align; no contradictions to a truth claim are tolerated.

Since our physical senses are designed to be relatively reliable and unbiased, if our minds and spirits are seeking physical truth we can collaborate with each other to validate this alignment. Our motive is clear: alignment with physical reality is extremely beneficial on every level. Once we perceive contradiction, if we’re sincere, we admit incomplete understanding and continue to explore.

However, in the spiritual/moral dimension we’re evidently on very different footing, not having a consistent, unbiased way to verify metaphysical reality. Like Creation, metaphysical reality is ultimately grounded in the divine Being: what He considers truth is true regardless. Yet, due to biases we hold deeply within our minds and spirits, each individual may discern any given metaphysical claim differently, so we’re unable to consistently verify spiritual truth merely through collaboration with each other’s broken perceptions.

Our inability to successfully collaborate here implies it is also an error to trust entirely in ourselves, presuming we have the capacity to accurately discern spiritual reality all on our own, that only we are unbiased and accurate in our perceptions, and no one else. We are not unbiased observers; we must trust God to reveal spiritual truth to us, and to reveal and heal our brokenness, our biased way of looking at reality. How might He do this?

God might speak to us directly in some way, which may seem reasonable in theory. Yet, when one experiences the myriad ways in which people claim God speaks to them, the impracticality is evident. God does speak to us at times, yet seducing spirits also consistently impersonate God and deceive many. (1Ti 4:1) This isn’t straightforward.

So, unless we’re so sure it’s the voice of God that we can’t even ask, “Who are you?”, which isn’t very often for most of us, we shouldn’t presume it’s God we’re hearing. We’re also commanded to test those who claim to have a word from God, because the reality is that they’re likely not hearing from God either. (1Jn 4:1) Yet, how do we go about such testing if we’re not to trust entirely in ourselves, nor in others, nor expect God to reveal truth directly to us as a rule?

There is only one other possibility: a written document containing God’s moral instructions in His own words. This is, in fact, His provision (2Ti 3:16-17), and He requires us to hide His Words in our heart (Ps 119:11) and meditate on them continually. (Ps 1:2) We’re to receive with meekness the engrafted word, through which He reveals metaphysical reality to us and delivers us from our ignorance and rebellion. (Ja 1:21)

For this to work as God designs, meekness is essential: we must submit to His Word as truth (Jn 17:17), obey it and yield to it. (Ja 1:22) If our motive in pursuing spiritual truth is selfish, we will inevitably miss it. The proper motive is alignment with God, a single-minded intent to be in right relationship with Him.

In pursuing truth in the absence of unmistakable divine revelation, expose every truth claim to the entire Word of God and reject any claim which violates any text of scripture. When this troubles me, and God’s Word is rubbing me the wrong way, I turn around — repent. Otherwise, I’m back to trusting in myself as spiritual authority instead of God, where all roads lead to death. (Pr 14:12)

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If Christ Be Not Risen

Christianity is unique among the world’s religions in that it grounds itself in a single historical act: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ did not raise His physical body from the grave after He died, though Christianity contains much we might consider true, it’s claim to ultimate authority may be dismissed. Christianity itself freely admits this (1Co 15:14); if the Resurrection didn’t occur as the Apostles claimed, Christianity is based on a lie. (15)

This begs the question: Does the evidence assure us that Jesus Christ actually did rise from the dead? The answer is: Yes. Assuming the Resurrection is False generates a contradiction. This proves the Resurrection is True.

The strength of the Resurrection claim lies primarily in the recorded witness of those who claimed to experience the risen Christ: the Twelve Apostles, the Apostle Paul, and over 500 eye-witnesses who all saw Him at one time. (1Co 15:6-8) This evidence comprises not only what these witnesses said, but also what they didn’t say, and how their lives and actions aligned with their testimony.

The validity of the New Testament record, our primary evidence for the Resurrection, is established by Dr. Bart Ehrman. As an atheist who rejects the historicity of the Resurrection, Ehrman may be admitted as a trustworthy authority: we may be confident that these writings accurately convey eye-witness accounts of historical events pertaining to the Resurrection. So, we’re left to consider the reliability of the witnesses themselves.

People may indeed be unreliable; we’re easily deceived and often dedicate ourselves to unworthy causes. But 500 eye-witnesses of the Resurrection were not all deceived about the Resurrection. The Apostles claimed they saw Christ repeatedly over a 40-day period, eating and drinking with Him, conversing, interacting with and touching Him. (Ac 1:3) If the Resurrection is false, these eye-witnesses knew they were lying.

The salient fact of human nature here is this: sane people generally act in their own self interest. When people deceive it is to achieve some end they perceive to be desirable, beneficial or appropriate. They may sacrifice themselves and even their families to serve the highest good. but they will not do so for what they know is an empty lie.

Note that all eye-witnesses of the Resurrection were devout Jews with a Torah-centered world view, a truth-based value system, and many suffered fiercely for their faith. If a single witness had ever recanted, even under the most severe distress, this would have been published broadly. It wasn’t. They were boiled in oil, crucified, pulled in pieces … and every single one of the Apostles went to their death testifying of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Apostles expected no temporal benefit through their testimony; they anticipated and experienced severe hardship and suffering. (1Co 4:9-13) If the resurrection were a false hope, the Apostles admitted that they themselves were to be pitied above all men. (1Co 15:19) People with a truth-centered world view do not do this consistently, fully sacrifice themselves for what they know to be a lie.

Assuming Christ did not rise from the dead as the apostles claimed thus implies a basic contradiction in human nature, based on the overwhelming, historically reliable witness of those who gave their lives to tell us about it. Further, since the scope of the witness involves well over 500 souls, the contradiction must be acknowledged on a massive scale. Dismissing the Resurrection is therefore deeply irrational, an error of profound magnitude — with sobering consequences.

In any just court of law, evidence for the Resurrection of Christ would be considered overwhelming, utterly convincing, undeniable. As we stand in the court of Heaven … judged in our response (Re 20:12), what would be our defense for neglecting it? (He 2:3) We will be held accountable for our response, if for anything at all.

Does our love of truth require us to turn away? Do we have compelling evidence contradicting the apostolic claim? Or does our neglect prove our unwillingness to believe, no matter what the evidence says?

The Resurrection of Christ is the pivotal event of human history: it changes everything, defining who we are … and what we’ll become. Neutrality is not an option. (Mt 12:33)

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Through All

In describing God, we might begin by saying He’s all powerful, infinitely so, as we say — omnipotent (Re 19:6): He does as He pleases (Ps 115:3); nothing is too hard for Him. (Ge 18:14) He’s the Creator, fashioning time and space ex nihilo, and gives us no indication that this was the least bit challenging for Him; it’s hard to imagine a more immensely powerful act.

Kerid Crater Lake, Iceland

We might also describe God as all knowing, omniscient: He is aware of and understands all things. (1Jn 3:20) He’s intimately familiar with all His works (Ac 15:18), not just that they exist, or will exist, but every detail about each one of them: every word that will ever be spoken (Ps 139:4); the number of hairs on every head (Mt 10:30), the names of all the stars (Ps 147:4), He might as well know every grain of sand by name. If He knows such things, it’s hard to conceive of something He might not know.

We might also claim that God is omnipresent, that He’s everywhere all the time. This may seem obvious, given the above; if God created time and space itself, perhaps it stands to reason that He’s ever present throughout all Creation.

Yet this doesn’t appear as easy to prove from scripture; a quick internet check reveals that the many scriptures offered to support this concept don’t quite get us there. What if God created everything to be self-sustaining and then stepped away to let it run all on its own? What scriptures apply here, not just that God is everywhere we are, but that He occupies every space, every possible location?

Scripture describes God the Father as above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ep 4:6) The idea of through all, as in permeating and surrounding everything in existence, seems to get at this idea, as well as above all, which appears to convey transcendence, beyond everything, higher than the highest, lower than the lowest, farther than the farthest, etc. How can one be above all and through all and not also be everywhere — omnipresent? Trying to decouple these phrases and what they convey seems academic at best.

This above all and through all is consistent with the idea that Christ holds everything together: by Him all things consist (Col 1:17), He upholds all things. (He 1:3) To be holding everything together, God must be present in some way, sustaining everything and giving it substance to continue to exist, beholding and observing (Pr 15:3), engaging everything and sovereignly controlling it all. (Ep 1:11)

Yet some might argue that God can’t be in Hell, that Hell must be the absence of God because God is Love. (1Jn 4:16) This may be the strongest argument against the omnipresence of God. What do we say?

What should we expect to happen if love and mercy actually are freely offered in Hell, with open arms and a tender call to repent? (Ro 10:21) Wouldn’t God’s love be continually and vehemently rejected by those suffering there? Wouldn’t the wicked continue to willfully choose their fiery end rather than repent and submit to God? (Re 16:11) and do so every moment for all eternity? (Pr 27:22)

Perhaps the problem in Hell isn’t God at all; perhaps the problem is Man. And perhaps the key to resolving many mysteries we see in God’s character and behavior lies here as well, in the Depravity of Man. (Je 17:9)

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Of the Truth

Our orientation toward truth is fundamental; it defines what kind of people we are. In relation to truth, there are only two kinds of people: those who love the truth, and those who don’t.

Almost everyone who has ever lived is in this second group: those who don’t love truth. To them, truth is desirable when it suits their purpose, when it aligns with their agenda, when it gives them what they want. Otherwise, truth is a burden, a threat, an obstacle they intend to manage and work around, in which case a lie appears as a relief, preferred and most easily accepted.

Those who want to believe what suits them don’t love the truth and seek it out, regardless how it might impact them. Once the lie is offered with any chance of being correct, they grasp on to it and hold it close. They must then love darkness rather than light, because they’ve not aligned themselves with truth (Jn 3:19), but hold the truth in unrighteousness, angering God. (Ro 1:18)

Those who love the truth obey and follow the truth at any cost. It becomes our only way; we know no other. We know no lie is of the truth (1Jn 2:21), and all truth is consistent with all other truth. So, we can accept no real inconsistency in our world view — we permit nothing in it that doesn’t align with all reality as we perceive it.

It’s a narrow way, often lonely — any step to the side is indeed treacherous. It’s better not to know the truth, not to even come this way, if we aren’t going to obey it. (1Pe 2:21) Yet the effort eventually leads us to God, so we end up with God, in God, aligned with Him Who is the Truth, because all truth, all reality, points to Him. (Ep 4:21)

For example, the complexity of Creation proves there’s a Designer. Contemplate the odds of a single useful protein forming by chance, even if all required elements happen to be present in the same space, intermingling with each other, and manage to assemble themselves in some random way. The odds are comparable to that of two people blindly selecting the same atom from among all the atoms in our Milky Way galaxy. And protein is just one element of an irreducibly and incredibly complex machine at the base of all life forms. The fact of a Designer is clearly seen, being understood by us all, and easily verified. It is the beginning of the way, and even this first step sets us in rare and precious company.

Given a Creator, Who evidently made us all in His own image, one reasonably expects some ancient religion to reveal Him. Nothing compares to Torah, not even close. The very existence of Israel is infallible proof that God is real, and that He has openly revealed Himself to the world. Yet, who’s been focusing on knowing the God of the Old Testament? This next step separates us even further, alienating us from the more popular religions of the world.

Following Torah leads us to the Jewish Messiah (Ga 3:24): the only Man to predict His own death and resurrection, pull it off exactly as predicted by Hebrew prophets hundreds of years earlier, and have the fact verified by hundreds of eye-witnesses, who were all willing to die rather than live out of step with this fact: it cost them everything. People make up lies all the time, but they aren’t willing to die for what they know is a lie. The Resurrection of Christ is the most provable fact of all history. And this step isolates us yet more, pitting us against most all of the Jews. (Ro 11:28)

The incarnation of Christ is indeed the ultimate singularity, putting the resurrection in perspective: divinity piercing the human domain for a sovereign purpose. (Jn 3:17) And this leads us to Who Jesus is, why Jesus died, and for whom He died — that He might bring us to God. (1Pe 3:18) And so, we’re home at last.

We know we’re of the truth, at home in Christ, when we walk in love, and also in truth (1Jn 3:18-19), seeking the ultimate welfare of all, yet unwilling to live apart from the truth, even a little bit, even to spare those who are deeply offended by it.

Thus, in being of the truth, though we seek the world’s good, we invariably find ourselves in the crosshairs of the world’s hatred of truth; to avoid the truth they must ultimately mock and dismiss us, or eradicate and overcome us — we shouldn’t be surprised if the world hates us (13), just as it hated Him. (Jn 7:7)

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Faith Comes by Hearing

Faith is required to please God (He 11:6), so, what is faith, and how do we get it?

It’s easy to mistake presumption for faith, blocking other possibilities out of our minds and hearts, willfully determining for ourselves what must be, refusing to consider contradictory evidence. This is darkness, the flesh, lacking the deep assurance of the revealed Word and Will of God, and will eventually be exposed as willful blindness and arrogance.

Faith is supernatural assurance, the divine impartation of knowing with absolute confidence and certainty, a knowing which doesn’t require further proof or evidence. It’s the gift of God (Ep 2:8), which comes by hearing God with a trusting, believing heart (Ro 10:17a), and this kind of hearing with this kind of heart comes by the decree of God. (17b)

Faith doesn’t come by hearing the Word of God. It’s necessary to hear the truth to grow in faith, but this in itself is insufficient. What the text says is: “hearing (comes) by the word of God.” (Ro 10:17)

We tend to hear what we want to hear, not what’s actually said. (Jn 8:43) So, God must not only send us the message of truth, He must also give us hearts to perceive, eyes to recognize and ears to receive and accept the truth. (De 29:4)

Submitting to God is a prerequisite for understanding and knowing Him (Mt 13:15), and this requires a new nature; our old nature is incapable of submitting to God. (Ro 8:6) God chooses the poor in spirit rich in faith, electing us to be heirs of His kingdom. (Ja 2:5)

This may seem unreasonable, that faith in God comes only by the decree of God, as if we have no choice or chance in faith, at pleasing God without His aid. It’s as if we think God’s choosing who will have faith is the same as Him choosing who won’t have it, and accuse God of being unrighteous (Ro 9:14), wondering why He finds fault when no one resists His will. (19)

God does choose who has faith (2Th 2:13), but He does not cause anyone to not have faith: rather He commands all men everywhere to repent and believe. (Ac 17:30)

God makes no one distrust Him; in fact, anything other than trusting God and taking Him at His Word is insane wickedness. How can God lie, or be unfaithful, or malicious? Not trusting God is accusing Him of being evil, and God never promotes or encourages this: we do this all on our own, when He leaves us to ourselves. And, of course, no one can please God while accusing Him of malevolence.

The election of God isn’t the arbitrary choice among good, ignorant but well-meaning people, but among the wicked, those who hate Him. (Jn 15:18-19) It’s an election of pure mercy and compassion (Ro 9:15) in which God transforms some wicked souls into saints – vessels of mercy. (23) God quickens the disobedient, those dead to Him in trespasses and sins, children of wrath. (Ep 2:1-3) God’s intervention in our headlong dash away from Him is entirely undeserved, total mercy. (4)

The mercy God shows us in salvation is remarkable indeed, infinite in every respect. He doesn’t need to save anyone; He doesn’t owe us anything: none of us deserve it in the least. Let us glory in the salvation of God and be thankful for His mercy. (Ro 15:9)

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Cannot Be Broken

Debates about which Bible version is best generally focus on peripheral concepts: archaic language, the age of certain Greek manuscripts, or theological clarity. The primary evidence is often overlooked: the consistency of the Majority Text proves it’s the most reliable — random copying errors don’t account for it, as KJV critics claim.

To illustrate, suppose 127 college students transmit a 1000-word short story, where the 1st student makes 2 hand copies from the original and gives the copies to 2 more students; those 2 students each make 2 more hand copies of their copy and pass those 4 copies on to 4 more students, who each make 2 more copies, etc. Seven copy generations yields 254 new manuscripts to compare with the original.

Assuming unintentional, random copying errors, one may easily note that the earlier in the transcription process a mistake is made the more prevalent the error will be in the total set of manuscripts. Additionally, it’s virtually impossible for any particular error to occur in more than half the manuscripts; the only probable way for any single error to be prevalent in the majority is for the very first student to deliberately introduce the same error into both of their copies, violating randomness.

This fact proves the Majority text, which is generally consistent within itself concerning supposed errors, has a single original source: the general consistency of the manuscripts can only be rightly accounted for in this way.

Carefully consider: there are only two possible sources for the Majority text — the autographs themselves, or another set of manuscripts deliberately constructed to supplant the autographs. This fact forced the revisers of 1881 to propose the myth of the Syrian Recension to justify their preference for the Alexandrian Text.

The patent absurdity of the Syrian Recension proves the Majority Text represents the autographs, and therefore that most modern translations are based on a corrupt manuscript witness. This is the only proper foundation for a KJV debate.

Arguments focused on archaisms in the KJV miss the forest for the trees. After a 3-minute tutorial on thee, thou and basic verb tenses, only a very small percentage (0.16%, or 1-2 per 1000) of the words in the KJV are archaic. Learning new words from time to time is a given for anyone pursuing truth; it’s why we have dictionaries.

Debating which version better supports orthodox theology is irrational: theology depends upon scripture, not vice versa — we may not rightly argue for the validity of scripture based on how it supports our beliefs. This debate is about which words were in the autographs, not the doctrines implied by them.

And diminishing the value of the KJV by claiming certain verses are incorrectly translated, when the reasoning of its translators is no longer available, is subjective at best and does more harm than good. No imperfection in the KJV causes us to believe or act improperly as we trust and obey it (unlike most newer translations – e.g. His Virgin). This should be the whole of the matter … it’s the very reason we have the Word of God. What’s left to discuss?

God inspired His Word in written form to accomplish a purpose, which is unfulfilled merely by the autographs: to enable His elect, in many ages and nations and languages, to be mature and complete, thoroughly and completely equipped unto all good works. (2Ti 3:16-17)

God didn’t inspire His Word in vain: He says the scripture cannot be broken. (Jn 10:35) We can be sure He has preserved His Word across time, and across languages, sufficiently to achieve His purpose. That’s exactly what God does — faithfully keep His promises. So, find His Word in a language you can understand today; trust it, memorize it, and obey it as the very Word of God.

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The Seventh Day

I am intrigued by the fact that God blesses the seventh day (Ge 2:3), because it doesn’t actually exist: the seventh day is an abstract concept, like the number 7 — a concept describing a certain pattern or collection.

It isn’t that abstractions aren’t real, perhaps in some sense they’re more real, more permanent than what they represent. And the fact that God blesses this abstract concept of the seventh day, and how He actually does it, fascinates me.

The first sabbath day, the seventh day of time, is unique since it’s the very first day in which God doesn’t create something new and amazing; He rests, or ceases from creating, not because He’s tired, but because He’s finished: His work is complete, and it’s very good. (Ge 1:31) This first sabbath is indeed special.

To commemorate the 7th day, to help us remember the day God rested (Ex 20:11), God sets apart every 7th day, sanctifies each one until the end of time, making them distinct and different. But how does He actually do this?

You see, the very next day, the 8th day of existence, is just like the 7th day in every respect; from the 6th day on God doesn’t make the days materially different from each other — no special cosmic event marks any particular day. It’s only in the conscious mind where these sabbath days can possibly be distinguished, so that’s where God must sanctify them. We aren’t told explicitly how God does this, but there’s a clue in why He does it.

Christ, as Lord of Sabbath (Mk 2:28), reveals that sabbath is made for Man (27): God designs sabbath for the welfare of Mankind. This includes Adam and Eve, and every one born since.

However, if Adam doesn’t start keeping track of which day it is, starting on the 7th day, counting how many days have elapsed since the first sabbath, he won’t know when the next sabbath day is, or any sabbath after that. The fact God makes the sabbath for Man implies God tells Adam about the first sabbath and commands Adam to start keeping sabbath, to rest from his work every 7th day. Adam must understand that he’s to start counting the days and keeping track of them, else the sabbath will be lost. This he evidently does.

In other words, God’s sabbath command actually depends on unfaithful Man keeping track of which day it is, or the sabbath will be lost and God’s design in vain. So, what does Man do with this gift?

Man begins to defy God on every level imaginable (Ge 6:5), yet by the time Noah boards the ark, he not only knows what day of the year it is, he records exactly which day it is (Ge 7:11), and exactly what day the earth is completely dry. (Ge 8:13-14) Noah’s concern with time, keeping track of what day it is and telling us about it, indicates (to me, at least) that he’s stewarding sabbath, keeping it alive for us, along with the animals.

And by the time Israel’s being delivered from bondage hundreds of years after Noah, God doesn’t have to explain to Moses what day of the week sabbath falls on; He just tells Moses to remember sabbath, as if Moses already knows what day this is. (Ex 20:8) Evidently, Man’s unwittingly been keeping track of sabbath for God ever since He sanctified it, observing a 7-day week as a pattern of organizing life, even though, for the most part, he hasn’t been observing sabbath.

God does according to His will in Heaven and in Earth; no one can thwart His purposes. (Da 4:35) As He’s built so much of nature on mathematical patterns, He has imbedded the 7-day concept into the very fabric of civilization.

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