Tag Archives: apologetics

Where Did the Moral Conscience Come From?

It has been a couple weeks since we posted the previous installment in our study of Apologetics (a defense of the basic truths for the existence of God, the inspiration of the Bible, and the deity of Jesus), but we’re back.

The Moral Argument (aka the Anthropological Argument)

As we discussed in the last installment, there are logical arguments that can be used to prove the existence of God.  While some of them aren’t as strong and clear-cut as others, when you put them all together, it makes for a massive wall of evidence that cannot be ignored.

There is something that all civilizations have in common: morality–a sense of right and wrong.  Because morality exists, it had to originate somewhere.

II Peter 1:3 – God has given all things pertaining to life and godliness; that includes our own moral conscience!

Man has an inherent moral consciousness.[1]

Regardless of where you go, there are some moral laws that are the same in every culture throughout history.  The unwarranted taking of another’s life is condemned in every culture.  They may differ on what determines “unwarranted,” but they all have this in one form or another.  Selfishness is decried in every culture.[2]  Other activities or attitudes are similarly seen as wrong.

Even children have a sense of right and wrong.[3]  If someone steals their toy, do they not know it is wrong?  If a boy cuts in line, do the other children not get upset because it is wrong to cut?  If a child hits another, the one who was hit knows that it was wrong.

The most devout atheist can claim there is no standard of morals, but to no avail.  After all, if his children were kidnapped, do you not think that he’d declare that a wrong had been perpetrated?[4] Or would he say, “My children have been kidnapped, but there’s nothing wrong with that because there is no real standard of right or wrong”?  If his wife were murdered, do you think he would say “it is fine?”

Almost everyone admits that there is evil in this world; but that means good also exists. Something can only be judged evil when compared with the good.[5] How can you claim that there is evil in the world without having something objectively good to compare it to?  By this very statement, they unwittingly admit that there is an objective standard of right and wrong–that there are universal morals.

There is a moral code inherent in every person.  It can be abused to where the moral consciousness is almost non-existent, but it still exists.  While it may differ in some respects from culture to culture, the similarities are amazing.[6]

Animals do not have this moral consciousness.

There’s a bull who goes by the name of El Torro.  El Torro, one day, stormed at a man who was walking through the pasture and impaled him on one of his horns.  The police were called to the scene and arrested El Torro, taking him to jail.  A few weeks later, El Torro was forced to take the stand in court, and the lawyer began screaming at him “Why did you gore this man?  Tell us all why you committed this horrible crime!  Have you no conscience?”

Surely by now you think there must be a punchline to this story, but there isn’t.  The point is that everyone recognizes that animals don’t have any kind of moral conscience.  They have no ability to distinguish between things which are morally right or wrong.  No one with a functioning brain would think to try to take this bull into a court room and make it defend itself in court.  The bull might be put to death, but that would be only to keep it from being a danger to others, not as a punishment for breaking a moral law.

Do we make Spot go to work to pay child support for all the puppies he’s sired with who knows how many girl dogs across town?  Do we shun and shame him because he’s committing doggie-fornication by fathering these puppies out of wedlock?  Of course not!

Most people recognize that dogs do not have a moral consciousness in them.  Because of that, we would not think to make a dog pay child support.

Why even bring these things up?  Because of this: if evolution were true, there would be other creatures besides man that had a sense of right and wrong.  But there are none–and every rational human being on earth recognizes that fact.

This moral code points to the existence of God.

If there is no God, where did morals come from?  Scientists have examined DNA from top to bottom, but there is no “morality” gene there.  There is nothing physical inside humans to make them differentiate between something that is morally right or wrong.  If there is no physical explanation for the existence of morality, then one must look beyond the physical for the answer.

If evolution is true, at least one other animal must have the same moral code.  Evolution claims that small, minor changes occurred throughout many millennia to produce humans.  Yet they cannot explain morality (except to deny it, which they do in vain).

Evolution states “survival of the fittest.”  Yet morality tends to want to help the weak.  Small children are helped.  Doctors see it as their duty to save the lives of those who are sick and dying; is that not counter-evolutionary?  If evolution be true, our attitude should be to let the sick die.

There is no physical explanation for morals.  There is no evolutionary explanation for morals (in fact it goes against the very center of evolutionist doctrine).

Morals came from God.

They were planted in man since the beginning.  God said that the Gentiles did “by nature” the things contained in the Law (the moral things). (Romans 2:14-15)

Man is unique in that he is the only creature on earth with a moral consciousness.  It is not physical, and it runs completely opposite of the theory of evolutionists, yet it does exist. It was put there by a moral being: God!

-Bradley Cobb

ENDNOTES:

[1] Jackson, Wayne. Fortify Your Faith, “Moral Consciousness.” (Apologetics Press, 1974), pages 20-21.

[2] ibid.

[3] Northrop, Chuck. Class Notes: Apologetics. Bible Institute of Missouri, 2009.

[4] Jackson. Moral Consciousness.

[5] Northrop. Class Notes.

[6] Lewis, C.S. “Mere Christianity” (Quoted in Jackson, “Moral Consciousness”)

Design Demands a Designer

We continue our study of Apologetics this week with the first of four installments on the question: “Does God Exist?”

We have kept this short so that anyone who wants to can print it and use it in a Bible class or expand it.  Feel free to use it to God’s glory!

Design Demands a Designer
(aka The Teleological Argument)

Charles Darwin, and others like him, have tried to undermine the very basis of the entire Bible: that God exists.

Because we can not have a true faith in Christ without hearing the evidences (Romans 10:17), it follows that if we want a true faith in God, we must hear the evidences of His existence. It is no longer a given that people believe in God; for that reason as well, we must know the evidences that prove the existence of God.

 Design does not happen by accident.

Thomas Edison did not knock over a pile of metal and glass and discover it became a light bulb. He worked for years on the design for the incandescent bulb. He failed multiple times with other insufficient designs, but finally found one that worked. Was this design by accident?  Or is the light bulb proof that someone put careful thought into it’s design and creation?

The Wright brothers did not create their airplane by accident.They were meticulous in figuring out weight, wingspan, horsepower, balance, etc…They put massive thought into their design.

Nothing that is designed came about by a mere accident. Design always involves intent. Intent implies someone involved in the designing.

Design does not happen on its own.

A watch did not simply come into existence on its own, let alone the millions of other watches that exist in this world. The fact that it exists shows that it was made by someone. The fact that there is design to it (mechanical, electrical, aesthetic) shows that someone (or more than one person) designed it.

There is design to the earth.[1] If the earth was not tilted on the 23 degree axis, there would either be no change in seasons, or such extreme changes that no plant life could survive.[2]  If the earth was closer to the sun, mankind could not survive the temperature and exposure to the sun; if the earth was further away, we would all freeze to death.  The earth has a perfect spin, not to fast, and not to slow. It is 100% perfect for life to be sustained on it.

There is design to things on the earth.  The human body is more complex than any machine ever created (Psalm 139:14). The nervous system is still not fully understood.[3] DNA is called the human’s blueprint (design).[4] But who in their right mind would claim that a blueprint can create itself?  Yet that’s exactly what so-called “scientists” and evolutionists teach!

That there is design to the earth and to things on the earth proves that there is a designer.  The Darwinist and atheist expect us to believe that the perfect design of the universe, the earth, the human body, and everything else in the world came about by complete accident.[5]

But they readily concede that the existence of design in a watch proves that someone designed it.  How inconsistent!

 Design proves that God exists.

Psalm 19:1 – The heavens declare the glory of God. The fact that the sun and stars exist screams out the existence of God. God created them to be used for “signs and seasons” (Genesis 1:14). The stars were set in the sky to be used as “signposts” for travel. Naval ships still use them to this day along with their GPS equipment.

Romans 1:20 – The invisible things are understood by the visible things. We see order (design) in the natural world; therefore, we know there was something behind it. We see the complexity, yet perfect design, of man; therefore, we know someone created it.

Mankind did not create the universe, the earth, nor man himself. Man is by far the most intelligent creature on this planet. It is admitted by all that man could not ever create the universe, the earth, or even plants or animals. If man, the smartest being on the planet, could not have created the universe, then that means someone more intelligent than anyone on earth had to have created everything.

Who could that be?

Some atheists have caved in and admitted the truth that design demands a designer, but in their incredible effort to deny that God is the Creator of the universe, they say that the earth was created by … (are you ready for this?) … aliens.[6]

Conclusion

Design does not happen by accident, and never has. Anything designed must, be definition, have someone that designed it. The universe, the earth, and everything on earth show design. Therefore, they all must have been designed by someone.

That someone is God.

-Bradley Cobb

[1] Jackson, Wayne. Fortify Your Faith. (Apologetics Press, 1974).

[2] Gish, Duane, Ph. D. “Have You Been Brainwashed?” – (tract, Creation-Life Publishers, 1974).

[3] Harrub, Brad. “The Human Nervous System: Evidence of Intelligent Design [part II].” Reason and Revelation, September 2005.

[4] Evolution/Creation. Unsigned article

[5] Harrub, “Nervous System.”

[6] Richard Dawkins made this statement in the movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” which can be watched for free on YouTube.

The Evolution of Evolution

Some of the most interesting things to read are old articles and papers that were typed up by brethren of the past.  One such article came from the typewriter of James D. Bales.  During his heyday, Bales was a highly-respected figure in the religious world, standing firm against evolution, communism, and other theories of belief that attacked the Bible.

We hope you find this article interesting.

THE EVOLUTION OF EVOLUTION

James D. Bales, Ph.D. (University of California), Searcy, Arkansas

Evolution means development. Thus men sometimes speak of the evolution of the airplane; which development was, of course, the work of intelligence and not of the blind workings of the forces of nature. The hypothesis of evolution which is widely taught today assumes that as a result of the workings of natural forces, life developed from the non-living; and from the first form of life there developed all the different forms of life which exist today, including man. Using the term evolution in the sense of development let us see how the hypothesis of evolution originated and how it develops when it is consistently applied. In other words, we want to notice something of the origin and some of the results of the hypothesis of evolution.

Evolution did not originate in scientific research, but in the bias of certain men against the God of the Bible who created the heavens, the earth, life, and man. It is based on the assumption that all past events must be explained in terms of present-day processes; even if this cannot be scientifically established. By maintaining that all must be explained naturally, the first evolutionists in our period of time put God so far away from the universe and life that He either did not exist; or if He existed He would in no wise interfere with man and the workings of the laws of nature. Thus for all practical purposes they could forget about God without having any fear that they must someday face God in judgment. They could rule their own lives without having to be subjected to the will of God.

The doctrine that all must be explained naturally was popularized in the field of geology by Sir Charles Lyell. He wrote his book on geology in order to establish this principle of uniformity as the basic principle in geology and ultimately in life itself. He accepted the idea of God, but his bias against God as revealed in the Scriptures is indicated in his contention that Moses had brought great mischief and scandal into the science of geology; and he spoke of driving certain men “out of the Mosiac record.”

Charles Darwin was converted to the idea that all must be explained naturally; and, of course, as this belief grew upon him, his disbelief in the Bible grew. Since Darwin had decided that all must be explained naturally, the very truth of evolution itself was taken for granted. The only question was, since evolution must have taken place, what laws in nature are sufficient to account for life’s origin and manifold form. So deep-seated was Darwin’s bias against God that, although he never became an atheist, but was an agnostic, when reason led Darwin to God he savagely turned on reason and discredited reason. As he said in his autobiography written in 1876:

“Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason, and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist. This conclusion was strong in my mind about the time, as far as I can remember, when I wrote the ‘Origin of Species;’ and it is since that time that it has very gradually, with many fluctuations, become weaker. But then arises the doubt, can the mind of man. which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animals, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?”[1]

Again he wrote:

“Nevertheless you have expressed my inward conviction, though far more vividly and clearly than I could have done, that the Universe is not the result of chance. But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”[2]

Reason led Darwin to God so Darwin killed reason! He trusted his mind when reasoning about evolution, but not when reasoning about God! Why should we trust anything in his writings if the human mind cannot be trusted? How could Darwin say that he fully believed in evolution when his position concerning the origin of mind made it impossible for him, when consistent, to fully believe in anything? How could Darwin continue to cling to evolution, which led him to discredit the mind, and to do so on supposedly scientific grounds? If the mind cannot be trusted at all, science is impossible. Although Darwin admitted that one could still believe in God, even if evolution were true, yet in his own life and the life of countless others faith in evolution has been the means of leading them from God. Although they may not become atheists, they usually put God so far away from man and the universe that He has not spoken and will not interfere with man in any way, including bringing man into judgment.

Darwin’s wife told her daughter, concerning the Descent of Man, that: “I think it will be very interesting, but that I shall dislike it very much as again putting God further off.”[3]

Thomas Henry Huxley, who helped fight many battles for Darwin, admitted that evolution was simply the outcome of applying the hypothesis that all must be explained naturally. He began to be converted to this idea when he was around 12 years of age. This led him to abandon the Bible as the word of God, and finally to accept evolution; because there was nothing else for a man to do once he has rejected the idea of creation by God.

There are numerous other illustrations of the fact that evolution was accepted because men wanted to get away from the idea of the God who creates. As Henry Fairfield Osborn, an evolutionist, put it: “In truth, from the period of the earliest stages of Greek thought man has been eager to discover some natural cause of evolution, and to abandon the idea of supernatural intervention in the order of nature.”[4] This bias has been abundantly documented in the forthcoming book. Why Scientists Accept Evolution.

Evolution is a faith which they accept even though they do not have adequate evidence for this faith. As A. L. Kroeber, at the Darwin Centennial, said: “Overwhelmingly, biologists had been accepting evolution because there was nothing else for them to do; but they had not proved it to their own satisfaction.”[5] He thought that the situation had improved today. Charles Darwin himself admitted that when one descended to details, and of course scientists must descend to details, evolution could not be proved.[6]

William L. Straus, Jr. said: “I wish to emphasize that I am under no illusion that the theory of human ancestry which I favor at the present time, can in any way be regarded as proven. It is at best merely a working hypothesis whose final evaluation must be left to the future.”[7]

The hypothesis of evolution is so far from being scientifically proved that a widely used text book in biology said: “The piecing together of the evolution story is comparable to the reconstruction of an atom-bombed metropolitan telephone exchange by a child who has only seen a few telephone receivers. We know something about living plants and animals, and we have some fossil remnants to go on. Extensive study of the evidence available plus ingenious hypothesis, most of which cannot be adequately tested, have given us a sort of a trial schedule of the possible directions of evolution of living organisms. ”[8]

However, so deep-seated is the bias in favor of evolution that Professor Paul Shorey stated: “An ambitious young professor may safely assail Christianity or the Constitution of the United States or George Washington or female chastity or marriage or private property… But he must not apologize for Bryan… It is not done.”[9] One does not have to accept every interpretation of the Bible made by Bryan in order to realize that thorough-going evolution contradicts the Bible.

Why is it that some scientists, who demand scientific proof in various other areas, are determined at all costs to hold to the hypothesis of evolution as being scientifically proved? They know full well, if they are acquainted with the evidence and the meaning of “scientifically proved”, that evolution has not been scientifically established.

Originating in man’s effort to get away from the God who creates and who has spoken to man in the Bible, it is obvious that the influence of evolution would be to undermine faith in the Bible. There are, of course, some individuals who think that evolution has been scientifically established and that therefore they must try to harmonize the Bible with evolution. They hold to evolution and still want to hold to the Bible. However, any hypothesis of evolution that maintains that all can be explained in terms of the workings of present-day processes must come into conflict with the Bible whether they realize this or not. As a result of the influence of the hypothesis of evolution, as well as some other influences, a great deal of the religious world has reconstructed the Bible so as to conform to evolution. Thus there are those who maintain that there was no first human pair, that there was no real fall of man, that God did not miraculously intervene in human history as recorded in the Bible, and that Jesus Christ is thus the product of evolutionary development. If an individual maintains that God did intervene as the Bible says, and that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, they have admitted divine intervention in redemption so why should they rule out divine intervention in creation?

The hypothesis of evolution has had an adverse impact upon morality. If all must be explained in harmony with natural laws then there is no moral realm different from the natural realm. After evolutionists get through explaining the origin of the conscience and moral sensitivity of man, they have in reality explained away morality. To maintain that animals do certain things, and therefore we see in them the beginning of the development of moral conscience, does not prove that I am obligated to do anything. To jump from a description of something that has happened to the conclusion that we are obligated to do this or that is to draw a conclusion that is not justified by their starting point. If men are but highly evolved animals, what right does anyone have to say that one ought to do or ought not to do a certain thing? In fact, to say that one “ought to do something” is no more speaking morally than to say that someone itches. In both cases you are describing a physical sensation. To say that a certain course of conduct would lead to social progress —however progress may be defined — is not the same thing as saying that I am obligated to follow that course of conduct. Every evolutionist must abandon evolution in order to stand for the reality and the binding nature of morality. William F. Quillian, Jr., in The Moral Theory of Evolutionary Naturalism[10] has shown the inability of the evolutionists to establish morality on a consistent naturalistic evolutionary world view.

Darwin viewed morality, religion, and everything else as traceable to something in animals. As he told a cousin: “I look upon all human feeling as traceable to some germ in the animals.”[11]

Darwin’s antagonism to religion increased as the years went on so that he was more antagonistic to religion after many religious leaders had accepted him than before.[12]

Communists pay high tribute to Darwin. In fact Karl Marx wanted to dedicate to Darwin the English translation of Marx’s book on Capital. Darwin refused because he thought it would give pain to some in his family.[13] Karl Marx on December 19, 1860 wrote to Engels that Darwin’s book “is the book which contains the basis in natural history for our view.”[14] On January 16, 1861 he said: “Darwin’s book is very important and serves me as a basis in natural science for the class struggle in history.”[15]

If man is but an evolved animal, there is no moral grounds on which you can condemn the Communists for wanting to establish animal farms, as it were. If morality is simply the evolved customs of man, the Communists have as much right as anybody else to evolve their own moral customs, and there is no moral law in the light of which we can say that they are wrong and we are right. If the survival of the fittest is the way of progress, then those who survive are the fittest by mere virtue of the fact that they survive. In other words, might makes right.

These, then, are some of the consequences that logically flow from naturalistic evolution. There are those, of course, who try to explain the origin and manifold forms of life naturally while maintaining that God is and that is more than an animal and more than matter. If this is true then God has supernaturally intervened in some way to make man more than matter. Once we grant this supernatural intervention we have destroyed the naturalistic hypothesis of evolution. If we are going to say that God super naturally intervened in some way in the creation of man, why not accept the Biblical account of the supernatural intervention?

That evolution has not been scientifically proved can be illustrated by the fact that it would be a rare scientist indeed who would sign the following proposition: Resolved that the evolutionary origin of life and of man has been scientifically proved. If you know of a scientist who will sign this affirmation, we shall be happy to debate him, the Lord willing.

[1] Francis Darwin, Editor, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1898, Vol. 1, p. 282.

[2] Ibid., Vol. 1. p. 285

[3] As quoted in Gertrude Himmelfarb, Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution, London: Chatto & Windus, 1959, p. 316.

[4] Henry Fairfield Osborn, The Origin and Evolution of Life, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1918, pp. ix-x.

[5] Sol Tax. Editor, Evolution of Man, p. 2

[6] The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. II, p. 210.

[7] The Quarterly Review of Biology, September 1949, p. 220.

[8] Relis B. Brown, Biology, Second Edition, Boston: D. C. Heath and Company, 1961, p. 531.

[9] Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 142, Oct. 1928, p. 478.

[10] New Haven: Yale University Press, 1945.

[11] Himmelfarb, op. cit., p. 317.

[12] Ibid., p. 319.

[13] Ibid., p. 316.

[14] Marx and Engels, Selected Correspondence, 1846-1895, New York: International Publishers, 1936. p. 126. Translated by Dona Torr.

[15] Ibid., p. 125.

An Introduction to Apologetics

Life has been extremely busy the past few weeks, leading to our less-than-stellar frequency of posts here at TheCobbSix.  Thanks for sticking with us.  🙂

Beginning this week, we are studying Apologetics in our Wednesday night Bible class.  We hope you will find these lessons as useful as we do!

What Is Apologetics?

Now, seemingly more than in any other time, apologetics is needed. “Apologetics” comes from “apologia,” which means “a formal, usually written, defense or justification of a belief, theory, or policy”[1]

God is being attacked on many different fronts by different people. There are some that completely deny His existence. Some will acknowledge His existence, but deny the Scriptures are really His  Word and are inspired by Him. And there are literally billions of people in the world today who do not believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and is indeed deity.[2]

Because of this, and the constant onslaught of teachings that come along with these  three topics, we are devoting some time for the next several weeks to study apologetics — the defense of the truth of these things.

 Why should anyone study apologetics?

Everyone should study apologetics to establish or solidify their own faith in God, His  Word, and His Son Jesus. Perhaps you are sitting, thinking, “I already believe in God and those other things.” But why do you believe? Is it just because that is what you’ve been taught?[3] Or have you weighed the evidence?

God never expected people to operate on “blind faith.”  God sent the ten plagues on Egypt so that They would know that He was the Lord (Exodus 14:4). God sent the quail and the manna to the children of Israel in the wilderness so that they would know that He was the Lord (Exodus 16:12). Jesus performed miracles so that people would see that He was from God (John 3:2). God has always, since the beginning of time, shown His existence. Our faith must be built on the evidence, not on what someone else has told us.

You should study apologetics so that you can teach others.  There are many in the world who call themselves “agnostics” who say that there is not enough evidence to prove God exists or to prove that He doesn’t exist.[4]  Simply put, these people just don’t know what to think.  Most want to know one way or the other, and the only way to prove it to them is to show them all of the evidence. You would not want a judge deciding a case against you without presenting him with all of the evidence, so why would you not want to teach a lost soul and show them all the evidence for the existence of God?

When you have that faith that is rock-solid because it is based on all of the evidence,  you are much more likely to convince someone else to become a Christian.

You need to study apologetics so that you can combat false teachings. In the schools (and everywhere else for that matter), evolution is being paraded as the truth about the origin of man and everything else.[5]  This denies the existence of God.  This denies that the Bible is inspired from God.  This denies that Jesus exists.  We must be able to combat these falsehoods that are being taught to everyone, especially our children.

There are false teachings even within the church that need to be combated with apologetics.  There are those who say they believe in God, but also claim to believe in evolution.[6]  This contradicts Genesis 1, Exodus 20:11, 31:17, and others which clearly state that creation began and ended in a total of six 24-hour days.

This would make Moses a liar or uninspired. If Moses was uninspired, so was Jesus who quoted him and who was called the      prophet like Moses (Acts 3:22). To say evolution is true is to, ultimately, deny the inspiration of the Bible and the deity of Jesus Christ!

 Can these things really be proven?

Yes! They can be proven!  God gave us everything that pertains to “life and godliness” (II Peter 1:3).  This would include proof that He indeed exists.  If there was no proof God’s existence, there would be nothing on which to base faith.

The heavens declare that God exists (Psalm 19:1).  The fact that there is design in the universe shows that someone had to design it.  The fact that nothing comes from nothing shows that someone had to create the universe.[7]

The complete accuracy of the Bible (even though it had many writers over a period of 1500 years) historically, doctrinally, and scientifically screams out that it is inspired of God. Skeptics have tried over and over to show the Bible as being historically wrong on something, yet it always turns out that they were wrong and the Bible was right.[8]

The Bible has stated scientific facts that were not discovered until thousands of years later.[9] The Bible predicted specific world events, sometimes tens and sometimes hundreds of years before they happened.[10]

The Bible records all the things we need to believe in Jesus as the Son of God (John 20:30-31).  Once we establish the inspiration of the Bible, we can see that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God.  The Jews heard Him say this, and they called it blasphemy because they knew it meant that He was claiming to be deity (John 10:24-33).  Jesus truly was God (John 1:1).

 What to Expect

We will see in the rest of this study various things that prove the existence of God, the inspiration of the Scriptures, and the deity (God-ness) of Jesus Christ. We will also look at arguments used against these things and show why they are wrong and should not be accepted. Ultimately, the goal of this study is to make your faith strong and to help bring others to Christ.

[1] Encarta World English Dictionary: “Apologia.”

[2] The “Jehovah’s Witnesses” claim that Jesus was the first being created by God, and is not deity (see their translation of John 1:1 as “the word was a god”). Other religious groups, such as the Muslims, claim Jesus was a good man and perhaps even a prophet, but deny that He is deity. Others, such as Buddhists, believe that if Jesus ever did exist, He was just a man. Still many others claim that Jesus never existed in the first place. As strange as it might seem to some of us, this denial of Jesus’ deity is held by the majority of people living today.

[3] Remember that Aquila and Priscilla had to teach Apollos more perfectly the way of the Lord. He did not have all the evidence, and thus was teaching an inadequate gospel (Acts 18:24-26). We must be ready to search the evidence to find out if these things are true (see Acts 17:11).

[4] The word “agnostic” means “no knowledge.” (Encarta) They believe it is impossible to know if God exists.

[5] Nearly every science textbook in public schools teaches the theory of evolution as a fact, and offers no alternative to it.

[6] There are examples that could be given, but this is not the place to list names of brethren who hold this belief. Suffice it to say, if one does much investigating into the topic, they will find numerous brethren of both today and times past that hold this stance.

[7] The Law of Biogenesis states that living things can only come from other living things, and not from non-living material. Basically stated, spontaneous generation is impossible.

[8] See later lessons on the inspiration of the Scriptures for specific examples.

[9] Again, see later lessons on the inspiration of the Scriptures for specifics.

[10] Specifically, the destruction of Jerusalem was predicted by Jesus approximately 40 years before it happened (Matthew 24:2-3); Daniel prophesied the Babylonian Empire would fall to the Persian Empire, which would fall to the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great, and that there would be a fourth kingdom, that being Rome. It was during the days of the Roman Empire that the church would be established. Daniel wrote this hundreds of years before the fact (Daniel 2, especially verse 44).

Tracts from the Past – Foolishness of Evolution

One thing that we did before, which was somewhat popular with our readers, was offer up some “Tracts from the Past.”  These were tracts which have long-since been out of print, but that we thought were interesting and useful.  We will be bringing back this feature occasionally over the next few months.  Today’s tract from the past is…

Foolishness of Evolution

By Paul Simon, Minister

I can understand why Evolutionists try so hard to prove that the world has been in existence for millions of years; because, it would have taken man that long to have developed by the process of evolution — and then, impossible, because only life can impart life. One cannot give that which he, himself, does not possess. Only God can give life to dead matter; therefore, only God could have formed man out of dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. God is life and can give life. There are 600,000 recorded species of liv­ing invertebrates and 36,000 vertebrates. No one species can cross the line to another species. Evolutionists need to find, not one missing link between men and monkey, but 636,000 missing links. There is a missing link between every species and it always will be missing, because God has so decreed.

Evolutionists are not satisfied to guess what man looked like millions of years ago, and call that guess, “Science,” but are de­termined to guess how he will look a few years from now, and call that guess, “Sci­ence.” Roy Chapman Andrews writes under the title, “How We Are Going to Look” in Readers’ Digest, May, 1945 [Note: Items in parenthesis and italics are my comments]:

“Human beings, half a million years from now, would be caricatures in our eyes—something out of a bad dream. Big round heads, almost glob­ular, hairless as a billiard ball; even the women! Very clever these future people will be—much more intelligent than we are—but alas, at the expense of hearing, tast­ing, seeing, and smelling. Their faces will be smaller. But they will be taller prob­ably several inches. (He is not so sure about this bit of Science, but definitely so about the rest of it.) Though shorter bodies are predicted, with longer legs and only four toes.

“We might hesitate to invite one of those future humans to dinner, were he to appear now in advance of his time, except for his conversational brilliance. But he would have some physical advantages over us: no appendicitis! no sinus trouble; no fallen arches”

We should be the most happy people in the world! We were born just at the right time. Just think; had we been born a few million years ago, we should be squirming mud-dogs or baboons and had we not been born until half a million years later, we should have had large glob­ular heads, with no hair! It seems as though some of us do not have long to go—just think, 500,000 years from now I shall be as bald-head as a billiard ball. Alas, alas, poor me! And what are 500,000 years—to an Evo­lutionist?

Mr. Andrews continues,

“Such predic­tions aren’t guess work. They are based on the known progress of human evolution. Before us is the visible evidence of fossil human skeletons, beginning with that of the Java Ape Man, more than half a mil­lion years old, and progressing in a definite sequence up to the present day. We have every reason to believe (and yet, he does not give even one reason. I wonder why.) that the development or reduction of the same physical characteristics will con­tinue into the future. We can visualize some of these changes if we forget the paltry six thousand years of known civilization and think in terms of thousands of centuries.”

He says that those predictions are based on “known progress of human evolution.” You can see just how much of it is “known.” He has not made any of it known to us. Mr. An­drews admits that we have no knowledge (Science) of civilization prior to six thous­and years ago, but he had just said, “Before us is the visible evidence of fossil hu­man skeletons, beginning with that of the Java Ape Man, more than half a million years old…” How does he know that they are more than 500,000 years old and that they are skeletons of the Ape Man, if civilization is unknown beyond 6,000 years ago? But he goes further back than that. He goes beyond the knowable and tells us what happened 60 million years ago, for he says:

“It required 60 million years for the horse to change from the four-toed Eohippus, scarcely bigger than a fox, to the thor­oughbred of today.”

“Not long before the beginning of the Ice Age, say six or seven million years, (Which? He is a Scientist. He should tell us whether it was 6 or 7 million years. But what is a million years to an Evolutionist? It is quickly said. He reminds me of a cer­tain woman, who to a friend of mine, said, “Honey just say you got it and get up from there.” This friend was seeking the baptism of the Holy Ghost and replied, I haint got it and I haint gonna say I got it.”) he was a quadrupedal ape, swinging blithely through the tree tops like a present-day gibbon or chimpanzee. But he was an ape with possibilities. Some inner urge (What urge? I have never been able to learn how anything but a monkey can know why a monkey acts as he does.) impelled him to get up on two feet and free his hands for purposes other than locomotion. He did this in an incredibly short time, judged by evolutionary standards (What are they?). It required 60 million years for the horse to change … What will happen to him [man] mentally and spiritually we can only guess.”

Not all that glitters is gold. Not all that is called, “Science,” is Science.

Bible Q&A – How did Jude Get Enoch’s Prophecy?

Question: How did Jude get Enoch’s prophecy, since it isn’t recorded in the Old Testament? Is the “Book of Enoch” inspired? And if so, why isn’t it in the Bible?—S.P.

Thanks for writing. This section of Jude (that is, verses 14-15) has caused perhaps the most discussion and confusion of any section of the entire letter. Is Jude endorsing an apocryphal book as being from God? If so, why isn’t it included in our Bibles today? Is Jude using an uninspired document as proof of what he’s been speaking? If so, how can we have any confidence of what is inspired and what isn’t? Is it possible that Jude is quoting something that truly happened, but just wasn’t recorded for us? There are so many questions, and each of them deserves to be answered.

So, let’s look at the text and answer the questions:

(14) And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

Enoch

There are a few things that Enoch is known for in the Scriptures. First, he was taken by God and did not see death. Elijah is the only other on in Scripture that was taken by God without having to suffer physical death. Second, he “walked with God” or “pleased God,” which is the reason why he did not see death (Gen. 5:22, 24, Heb. 11:5). Third, he was the father of Methuselah (Gen. 5:22).

So far as the Scriptures outside of Jude are concerned, this is basically all we know about Enoch.

The seventh from Adam

If there was any doubt about the one who gave the prophecy, Jude eliminates it here. The prophecy he is about to quote came from Enoch, the seventh in chronology, starting with Adam. In order, they are: (1) Adam, (2) Seth, (3) Enos, (4) Cainan, (5) Mahaleel, (6) Jared, and (7) Enoch.

Enoch…prophesied

This is extremely important to understand, because Jude is saying without a doubt, that this prophecy is from the Enoch mentioned in Genesis 5. And because Jude was written by inspiration of God, we can know that this prophecy was indeed given by the real Enoch who was taken by God before the flood.

Why is this important? It is important for multiple reasons:

First, there is no such prophecy recorded in Scripture.

Some people, in trying to explain how Jude could quote a prophecy that isn’t recorded, have said that perhaps Jude is quoting from some other Enoch. But Jude makes it clear that the Enoch he is quoting is the seventh from Adam. That objection is thrown out.

Second, because Jude has been accused of quoting an uninspired book as Scripture.

The Book of Enoch 1:9 says:

“And behold! He cometh
with ten thousands of [His] holy ones
To execute judgment upon all,
And to destroy [all] the ungodly:

And to convict all flesh
Of all the works [of their ungodliness]
which they have ungodly committed,
And of all the hard things
which ungodly sinners [have spoken] against Him.

If you read Jude 14-15, you will see a striking similarity between the two passages.

It has become fashionable to say that Jude is quoting from this uninspired book. But given that no one can pinpoint the date in which it was written (with guesses ranging from 200 BC to AD 200), it is just as likely that whoever wrote “the Book of Enoch” was quoting from Jude.

If Jude was quoting from the Book of Enoch, then he lied when he said he was quoting from the real “Enoch, the seventh from Adam.” Hopefully, you can see that the charge leveled against Jude is a serious one. If Jude was quoting from the “Book of Enoch”—written no earlier than 200 BC—then the book of Jude cannot be inspired, for it would be speaking a lie as though it were truth—proving it was not from God.

So, how this all be settled? Where did the information come from? Why is Jude 14-15 so similar to Enoch 1:9?

Here are some plausible possibilities.

Possibility #1: There was an oral tradition that Enoch had given this prophecy, though it was not ever written down in the Old Testament Scriptures. If indeed this is the case, then the prophecy of Enoch was passed down by word of mouth accurately for over 2500 years. While it is possible, it seems very unlikely that any oral tradition could be passed down for 2500+ years and remain anything close to accurate. However, if there was an oral tradition to this effect, then Jude was confirming its authenticity and application (by inspiration), and there would be no surprise that the so-called “Book of Enoch” would have included it.

Possibility #2: Jude was given this information directly by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This possibility assumes there was no oral tradition, but instead that Jude was given information that wasn’t in the Old Testament record. This should not be a surprise, because the apostle Paul was given the names of two Egyptian magicians who withstood Moses—even though those two men were never named in the Old Testament (see 2Ti. 3:8). This was information given by inspiration without any reliance on an outside source.

Possibility #3: The Book of Enoch, though uninspired, contained an accurate quote of Enoch which was afterwards affirmed by God through Jude. What must be kept in mind is that this does not mean that everything in the Book of Enoch is accurate. This is just like when Paul quoted from two uninspired poets. He was only saying that the part he quoted was accurate—nothing more (see Act. 17:28, Tit. 1:12). The problem with this is again that no one knows when Enoch was written (some guesses are as late as the second century AD—long after Jude was written).

Of the three, I am convinced that the second is the most likely, though the other two are possible.

-Bradley S. Cobb

(Note: the above information comes from our book, “Fight for the Faith: A Study of the Letter from Jude”)

Bible Q&A – Did the Apostles Expect Christ to Return During Their Lifetime?

Question: A man I was talking with told me that the Bible isn’t true because it shows the Apostles thought Jesus’ return would be during their lifetime. And that, since Jesus didn’t come back when they expected it (and still hasn’t), they obviously didn’t have any idea what they were talking about. Can you help me?–C.F. from Indiana.

Thank you for asking such a great question. Believe it or not, this is actually a common attack against the Bible. Unfortunately, though, many people who try to defend the Bible answer this attack in ways that are actually self-defeating. By that, I mean many of the answers that Christians give to this attack are actually in favor of the attacker!

Let me give you some examples. These are not quotes, but paraphrases of what some Christians have said in the past to answer this attack.

  • When they said that the coming of Jesus was “at hand” (that is, very close), the Apostles were just saying that we should live like Christ could come in our lifetimes.

Do you see that on one hand, these Christians acknowledge that the Bible says the coming of Christ was indeed “very close,” but then on the other hand, they deny what they just admitted.

  • The Apostles expected the coming of Jesus to be during their lifetime, but they were just humans and didn’t know everything. But that doesn’t affect the reliability of the Scriptures.

The problem with this argument is that by saying the apostles were mistaken, or just expressing their opinion on when Jesus would return, it calls the rest of the New Testament letters into question. After all, if a plain, direct statement such as “the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:8) was just an opinion, how many other things are actually just opinion? It undermines the credibility of the entire New Testament.

What is just as unfortunate is that these arguments are used in Bible classes to “explain” (or better stated, “explain away”) these statements about the coming of Christ.

Let’s look at two things which will answer the question.

The First Thing.

the New Testament writers absolutely stated (by inspiration) that Jesus would return during the first century. There is no sense in denying these clear Bible statements:

  • “Therefore, YOU [first century Christians] be patient unto the coming of the Lord” (James 5:7).
  • “The coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:9).
  • “The end of all things is at hand” (I Peter 4:7).
  • “Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of THESE [first century false teachers], saying ‘Behold the Lord is coming with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.’ These [first century false teachers] are [present tense] murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaks great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage” (Jude 14-16).
  • “…Things which must shortly come to pass. …the time is at hand. …Behold He [Jesus] is coming [present tense] with clouds” (Revelation 1:1, 3, 7).

The New Testament writers believed Jesus would return very soon after they wrote. But this wasn’t just their guess or their opinion. This was an inspired message from the Holy Spirit! It was God Himself giving this message to the first-century Christians.

The Second Thing:

These statements of the imminent coming of Jesus Christ–the coming that the New Testament writers expected to come in the first century–weren’t about Jesus Christ coming at the end of time to destroy the universe. They were in regards to a different “coming” of Jesus Christ.

In Matthew 24, Jesus Christ talks about the destruction of the city of Jerusalem. He says that it will be the worst destruction to ever befall a nation in history. In fact He says there’s never going to be any national destruction worse than what would happen to Judah and Jerusalem (Matthew 24:21). Jesus also gives them a time-frame so they would know when to expect it: “this generation shall not pass until all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:34). This destruction, prophesied by Jesus, would come during the lifetime of some of those who were listening to Him.

You might ask Why is that important? It’s because of this: Jesus describes this destruction, this judgment on the Jewish nation, as “the coming of the Son of man” (Matthew 24:27, 30).

This destruction, this coming of Jesus Christ in judgment on Jerusalem, happened in AD 70–and it is this coming of Jesus that the apostles spoke about as being imminent. This took place during the lifetime of some of Jesus’ original disciples.

The apostles knew what they were talking about, and they were right when they said that Jesus’ coming [in judgment on Jerusalem] was “at hand.”

When we understand that there’s more than one “coming” of Jesus Christ mentioned in the Bible (one of them imminent, the other one not imminent), this once-confusing “problem” disappears.

-Bradley Cobb

Bible Q&A – Is the Bible from God?

This week’s Bible Q&A is like a “part 2” to last week’s question.  Six years ago, I had to write a letter proving that God exists.  The follow-up assignment was “OK, now you’ve convinced ‘Agnostic Agnes’ that God exists.  Now write her a letter proving that the Bible is inspired.”

This letter may make you chuckle, but hopefully it will also show you that showing the Bible is from God isn’t as hard as you might think.  And in case you wondered, “Aunt Agnes” isn’t a real person.  Enjoy!

Dear Aunt Agnes,

I heard about the confrontation you had with your science teacher at college. I never dreamed that you would share my last letter with him. Grandpa said you wouldn’t sit down until he read the letter and answered the arguments for the existence of God. It amazes me that he didn’t even try to argue. Good job! Has uncle Bubba’s toe healed yet? He needs to be more careful with that post-hole digger.

I am happy that you have come back to realizing that God truly exists. I do disagree with you, however on one thing. You said in your last letter that there is no proof that the Bible is really from God, and I am just taking it on blind faith. That’s really not the case. I’ll see if I can explain what I mean.

Could Junior have written a book like “Gone With the Wind”? Of course not. Junior’s not smart enough to have written that book. That proves it was written by someone more intelligent than him. It’s the same way with the Bible. If we can look at the Bible and see things in it that are beyond the capacity of human beings, it must have come from someone more intelligent than any human. That someone would be God. By the way, that is another way you can prove to someone that God exists.

For example, in Isaiah 40:22, it speaks of the circle of the earth. The word there actually means a sphere, like a ball. That’s not much of a surprise to us today, but when that was written (over 2,000 years ago), everyone thought the earth was flat. If you remember, that was still the common belief when Columbus sailed to America just over 500 years ago! But somehow the Bible knew it before anyone else.

Also, I learned in elementary school that there are currents in the oceans. If you saw that movie Finding Nemo, you’ll remember that the dad fish and the turtles rode the East Australian Current. That is one of them. They were discovered less than 150 years ago. Before that, no one knew about them. Well, no one except for the Bible. Psalm 8:8 speaks of the paths of the seas. This was around 3,000 years ago!

How could the Bible contain things that humans have only discovered in that past few hundreds of years? There is only one possible explanation: it was given by God. The people who wrote the books of the Bible were given what they were supposed to write straight from God.

If the Bible was just something that a group of men came up with, how could it have endured for thousands of years when people have tried and tried to destroy it? Even in the Bible, there were people who attempted to destroy all traces of God’s word. There was a wicked king named Jehoiakim who heard God’s word read to him and he got so made after only a few pages that he cut it up and burned it. That’s in Jeremiah chapter 36. If you read further, you will see that God just had Jeremiah’s secretary write it again. So, even the king could not destroy it.

Over 2,000 years ago, there was a somewhat insane ruler named Antiochus who tried to destroy all traces of Jewish worship. He even went so far as to burn every copy of the Old Testament that he could find, and kill all the people he found that possessed copies of it. This man was the ruler of the empire at the time, and yet the Old Testament still exists and we have many copies of it. He’s dead, but the Bible lives on.

Many people since then (including some rulers of the entire Roman Empire) have tried to physically destroy the Bible. Some extremely powerful people have done everything that they could to keep all copies of the Bible out of the hands of the common people.

Still others have tried to destroy the Bible intellectually. Many people who did not believe in God stated that the Bible would be completely forgotten in their lifetimes. But they keep dying; the Bible lives on. How do you explain the fact that the Bible has endured more persecution than any person or book in history, yet it still lives on in abundance? There are literally millions of Bibles printed every month. God gave us the Bible, and He is making sure we always have it.

Do you remember hearing a few years ago about them finding another ancient city that was mentioned in the Bible? That happens quite frequently nowadays. The archaeologists keep digging up more things that confirm that the Bible is correct. There have been many people mentioned in the Bible that skeptics say never really existed, but time after time, evidence keeps proving them wrong. There was an entire nation of people in the Bible, called the Hittites, that some people said did not ever exist, but archaeological evidence has proven that they existed, and that they existed exactly when the Bible says they did.

Some people have even gone so far in their efforts to discredit the Bible that they say Moses couldn’t have written the first five books of the Bible because there was not any written language back then. Yet, archaeologists discovered that there was a written language around 3500 BC, which was about 2,000 years before Moses was born. How is it that the “greatest” historians have to keep re-writing their histories as new evidence comes up, but the Bible is always right? It can only be that the Bible is from God; that is why it is 100% accurate.

Another thing that proves the Bible came from God is the fact that even though it was written by around 40 men over a period of about 1600 years, they all agree with each other. The writers of the Bible came from far different backgrounds and educations, yet they are all united in their presentation. There were kings, shepherds, a doctor, and even a tax collector that all wrote what God said to write. Have you ever wondered how all these people could have known what to write, and to make it in perfect harmony with the rest of the Bible? You could not get 40 people who knew each other to sit in the same room and write on the same subject and all be in agreement. How is it that the Bible accomplished just that? God told them what to write!

I bet you’re probably thinking “but the Bible does not always agree.” You probably think that there are contradictions in the Bible. I once heard someone say there were thousands of contradictions in the Bible. That is simply not true. While we might not completely understand everything involved in a supposed contradiction, most of them are easily explained. For example, suppose you were speaking with aunt Rex and Uncle Blondie and asking them who they saw in the grocery store. Rex says she saw Kacie and Rick, but Blondie just tells you they saw Rick. Is one of them lying to you? No, Rex is just telling you a more complete version of it.

A large chunk of the supposed contradictions involve similar scenarios. Matthew 8:28 speaks of two demon-possessed men healed by Jesus, while Luke and Mark both only mention one. Well, Matthew simply mentions all of them, the others only mentioned one of them. That is not a contradiction. The same type of “contradiction” appears in how many angels were at the tomb of Jesus. Matthew and Mark each mention one angel, but Luke mentions two. Luke gave a fuller account of what happened there. There is no contradiction. One great writer once said that a contradiction cannot exist unless it is impossible for both accounts to be true. If there were two angels, it is obvious that there was at least one angel there. The records of the Bible are complimentary.

Sometimes, there are totally different things mentioned in the same story. Well, Agnes, why do they always call so many witnesses in trials? Isn’t one witness good enough? You know better than that. One person sees things from a different angle, and may relay different parts of the story from another. The same is true with the Bible. Over the four gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), there are seven different things said by Jesus while He was on the cross.   Is one of them untrustworthy if he doesn’t mention all seven things? Are they contradictory if they mention some, but not others? Of course not. You must have read twenty different biographies of Elvis, but do all of them say the same thing that the others do? No, they all add different information that the others leave out. It all depends on what the author was wanting to focus on. When you read them all, you get a fuller idea of who Elvis was. In the Bible, there are four different books about the life of Jesus; when you read all of them, you get a fuller idea of who Jesus really was. You get the whole story that way.

One of the things that a lot of people point to as a contradiction is the genealogies of Christ. There are two of them given in the New Testament. One of them is in Matthew, and the other is in Luke. There are almost no similarities between them, except for just a few names. Let me ask you something before I go any further: is your mother’s family line the same as your father’s? Of course not. One of the genealogies was from Jesus’ mother, Mary’s side of the family, and the other was from His adoptive father, Joseph.

So you see, there are some things that seem at first glance to be contradictions, but when you look at them, there is a logical explanation for each of them. Sometimes, we don’t know the answer, but when you have a reliable witness, you take it on faith until you find the evidence to prove it. That might seem odd to say, but remember old aunt Sue? You could take her word for anything; she never told a fib. If she told you something that sounded outlandish, you would still believe her, right? That’s because she has been completely trustworthy and reliable on everything else. You should treat the Bible in the same way. As I’ve mentioned throughout this letter, the Bible has been proven reliable and accurate over and over again. There is no reason to doubt anything that it says!

Well, I guess that’s about it for now. Remember, you can always call me if you have any questions about this stuff. I’m no expert, but I’ll do my best to talk with you so that we’re both on the same page. Have a nice week!

Brad

Bible Q&A – Does God Exist?

This week’s Bible Q&A is a little bit different than normal.  Six years ago, I was asked to write a letter to an agnostic (someone who believes the existence of God cannot be proven one way or the other).  The purpose of this assignment was to see if we could explain how we can know that God exists.

And in case anyone wonders, “Agnostic Agnes” is not a real person.  This letter will probably make you chuckle, but it will also show you that you don’t have to be an intellectual to talk to people about “Does God Exist?”

Enjoy!

Dear Aunt Agnes,

I was thrilled to hear that you decided to go back to college to finish your degree.  Congratulations!  That is a very admirable thing to do, especially in your 60s.  I hope uncle Bubba is doing well.  I heard about the accident with the pick-up, but I am glad to hear that he’s recovering.

Grandpa told me that you took some science classes there at the university, and that the teacher was trying to convince everyone that God does not exist and that anyone who believes in God was ignorant.  Grandpa told me that you weren’t really sure what to think about it anymore.  Does God exist?  I tell you that He does, and I’ll tell you why I know it.

First off, take a look at the watch that your sister got you for your birthday.  You see how nice it looks?  You know there are quite a few cogs, springs, and wires inside there that are wound and placed in the perfect place to make your watch work correctly.  Now, did that watch happen by an accident?  Did every small piece just happen to fall together somewhere and land perfectly in the shape of a perfectly functioning watch?  Of course not, that’s obvious.  If something shows obvious design, there must have been someone who designed it to work that way.  Not only that, but there must be somebody to put the thing together in order to make it work.  That’s just common sense, right?

Now, look at the world around you.  Isn’t it interesting that humans can breathe the air on this planet easily?  Is it not also interesting that the air we breathe out is carbon dioxide, the exact thing that plants “breathe in” to survive?  Look also at the human DNA.  I know you went over the DNA in your science class.  They call it “the human blueprint.”  A blueprint is a design, is it not?  Even your science books admit to that design.  Look at the solar system.  Do you realize that if the earth’s tilt were just a little different, we would freeze to death?  The earth’s rotation is just the right speed, too.  If it were much faster, we would be thrown into the air.  If it were much slower, the gravity would hold us so much that we could hardly move.  Everything in us as humans, on the earth, and in the solar system is designed perfectly for us as humans.  If it is designed perfectly (which it is), who designed it?  A watch cannot happen by accident.  The universe is far more complex, and your teacher expects us to believe that it was an accident?  No, since there is design, there must have been someone who designed it, and that someone is God.

Another thing to consider is this: if evolution is really the answer to how we got here, how do they explain the morals of humans?  Anywhere you go, in every civilization throughout history, there has been a moral code of some sort.  While there are shades of differences in some of them, some remain the same.  Where has it ever been looked upon as right to murder someone who was completely innocent?  When has kidnapping been viewed as a noble thing?  What about thievery?  There are some things that are wrong, and everyone knows it.

But let us look at it from another angle.  Suppose a bull gores and kills a man.  This man was completely innocent and did not deserve death.  Do we then take the bull and arrest it, putting it on trial?  Of course not!  That is ridiculous!  Bulls don’t have the sense of morals that humans do.  But if a man kills another man, it is a different story, right?  If evolution were true, then there would be other animals that have the same moral code within themselves as we do.  This moral code within us is something that we are born with.  When your great-nephew Matthew got cut in front of in line last month, didn’t he tell the other kid cutting was wrong?  How does Matthew know that it was wrong?  If evolution is true, then there is no real right or wrong, but only what someone thinks is good for them.  That Matthew knew it was wrong shows that he has a sense of morals (and we know it didn’t come from his parents).  The fact that humans, and only humans, have morals within themselves shows that it had to come from some place.  If it were evolution, other animals would have it.  Morals have no scientific basis.  Science can not find a “moral gene” or some muscle in your body that controls morals.  It doesn’t exist.  The place it comes from is God!  That is the only explanation for the existence of our morals.

Another thing you might think about is this: there is a law in science that everything is the result of something else.  Basically, nothing can exist, work, or move without something creating it or moving it.  There is no perpetual motion, because eventually everything slows down and stops working.  Your watch is a good example of this.  It will not work on its own without you winding it, right?  Everything that moves or works has to have someone start it.  What about the planets?  What about the universe?  Since there is no such thing as perpetual motion, the planets had to have been started by something.

I know that your science teacher probably said that everything started with the “big bang,” right?  But let’s look at the other part of the law I just mentioned.  Nothing can exist without someone making it.  If you start with nothing, you end up with nothing.  You can’t just sit and wait and expect a pizza to show up on your table without someone making it and putting it there, right?  Since matter (stuff) and energy eventually run down, they had to have been created and put into motion at some point.  The big bang is a fun explanation for how everything began if you ignore the fact that there had to have been something to make the “big bang.”  Where did that something come from?  Science, then, is back in the same mess they had before trying to explain where everything came from.  Simply put, God made everything and put it into motion.

Something else to consider is this little experiment.  Imagine the most horrifying, scary monster possible.  Think of all the horrible features you could give it, both in looks and in powers and attitude.  Now, what did you think of in that monster that you had not either read about, seen, or heard before?  Everything we can think of is based on something that we have experienced or sensed before, right?  I know in your philosophy class, they told you that there is no such thing as a new or truly original thought.  They are correct.  No matter how hard you try, you cannot think of anything new beyond that which you have sensed or experienced.

What does that mean?  Have you noticed that all cultures and civilizations all have worship to a higher being?  The Indians have the “great spirit,” the Muslims have “Allah,” the Greeks and Romans had a large group of mythological gods.  There is an inner desire to find God.  Have you ever wondered why so many people are looking for their purpose in life?  If we came from evolution, there is no purpose in life.  But isn’t just about everyone yearning to find a purpose?  Something beyond themselves?

Putting the two of those together, how could anyone, let alone all the cultures on earth, have a concept of a higher being beyond themselves if one did not exist?  Remember, man is only capable of imagining that which they have sensed or experienced.  Since man has a conception of the idea of God, the only explanation is that somewhere along the line, God interacted with man.  Since man has a concept of God, God must exist.

If your science teacher is anything like the teacher I had at John A. Logan College a decade ago, he likely used pain and suffering as his “ace in the hole” against God existing.  The thing is, that does not really prove anything.  The teacher liked to say “if God is all-loving, why does evil exist?”  Let me ask you a question, Agnes.  Do you love your son, Junior?  I know you do.  That is why you let him make his own decisions (although I still think you should kick him out of the house; he is 35 now).  God is the same way.  He loves us all, and because of that, He lets us make our own decisions.  People can choose to murder, rob banks, kidnap, drive drunk, and all other kinds of things.  But when they do, does that show God as uncaring?  No!  If Junior robbed a bank, does that show that you don’t love him?  Of course not!  Evil exists because of choices that people make to do those things that are evil.

What about the innocent people who are hurt?  They didn’t do anything wrong, right?  How can we say God cares when innocent people get hurt all the time?  It is a fact that the choices we make affect us and other people as well.  You can’t say that it not true.  If you and the rest of the ladies up there stopped going to McDonald’s every morning, they might go out of business.  Something that you do can affect other people.  It can have good effects (like when you helped that homeless man get some food) or it can have bad effects (like when someone chooses to drive drunk and kills someone).  It is all because of choices that we make.  If someone chooses to do something wrong, evil exists, and innocent people might get hurt because of it.

I know that it breaks your heart when a baby is born with some kind of problem.  Was it the baby’s fault that it had the problem?  Of course not.  But, you have seen parents who smoke and drink while the baby is growing in the womb.  Those things do affect the baby.  Also, there may be things that one of our ancestors did that caused there to be a problem with us.  Sometimes, it takes multiple generations for these things to manifest themselves, and we never know exactly where they come from.  But it all comes down to people and the choices they make.

Agnes, I know you are busy with finals coming up, so I’ll go ahead and end this letter here.  I hope I have given you some things to think about.  Let me know what I can do to help in the future.  Give uncle Bubba my regards.  Tell Junior to get back to work.

Bye,

Brad