“Could God Really Have Created Everything in Six Days?”

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This is the title of one of the twenty-seven chapters found in the New Answers Book: 25 Top Questions on Creation/Evolution and the Bible, edited by Ken Ham (Master Books, 2007). This chapter was posted on the Internet by Answers in Genesis on September 27. Ken Ham, the author of this excerpted eighth chapter, and thirteen other young earth creationists, such as Dr. David Menton, Dr. Tommy Mitchell, Dr. Jason Lisle, Dr. Terry Mortenson, author the various chapters in this book. This current work was preceded by two earlier editions: The Answers Book: Answers to the 12 Most-Asked Questions on Genesis and Creation/Evolution (1990) and The Revised & Expanded Answers Book: the 20 Most-Asked Questions About Creation, Evolution, and the Book of Genesis, Answered! (2000). The New Answers Book adds seven additional chapters to the previous edition. One of the helpful additions is Mike Riddle’s ninth chapter: “Does Radiometric Dating Prove the Earth Is Old?”For a list of each chapter along with a list of some of the authors, check out the website for Answers in Genesis. Since this book is not written on a technical level, it is a good resource for most Christians. It also provides enough footnotes to serve as cross-references to a few technical, current sources. I have often referenced the two earlier editions in the classes and seminars that I teach on Biblical Creationism. Having reviewed this new source, I will continue to promote this book in my classes and seminars. I highly recommend the New Answers Book, and also suggest that you download the free study guide that goes along with the book.

Diamonds and a Billions of Years Old Earth

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This picture is taken from stockxpert.com

Beautiful diamonds are primarily comprised of pure carbon, which, acccording to current research, includes some radiocarbon. However, since radiocarbon should have decayed in less than a million years, diamonds, rather than supporting an old earth, are consistent with a recent creation of the earth. Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, author of numerous articles and books supporting young earth creationism, has written a brief but insightful article, “Diamonds: A Creationist’s Best Friend,” Creation 28 (September-November 2006): 26–27. His thesis is that the radiocarbon “age” of diamonds is far less than an earth of a million years. The article was made available yesterday for the internet by Creation Ministries International, at Creation on the Web.

The Wisdom of Psalm 1

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As introduced in my previous post, the first wisdom psalm in the Psalter is Psalm 1. Besides this psalm, I place ten other psalms into this wisdom category (15, 36, 37, 49, 73, 112, 119, 127, 128, 133). Wisdom psalms share common features with other Old Testament wisdom literature, such as Job, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. More specifically, Psalm 1 has thematic similarities with the book of Proverbs. Like Proverbs, Psalm 1 contrasts the righteous and the wicked by emphasizing God’s blessing on the righteous, those who in faith obey the Law, and God’s judgment on the wicked. And, like Proverbs, the didactic thrust of Psalm 1 is to direct the people of God into a godly lifestyle.Psalm 1 develops these similar themes in a structured way, broadly arranged into the following units of thought: the way of the godly, vv. 1–3, the way of the wicked, vv. 4–5, and a summary contrasting the two ways, v. 6, with v. 6a summarizing vv. 1–3 and v. 6b vv. 4–5. We could picture the overall structure like this:

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A more detailed analysis reveals the psalm’s intricate structure.

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Based upon this structural arrangement of this psalm, my next post will develop the message of Psalm 1 with a focus on its contemporary application.

Introduction to Psalms

 

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This picture is taken from www.jrbell.com.The canonical book of Psalms has historically been one of the most influential portions of the Old Testament. The Psalter, as it is also called, is a collection of psalms compiled and arranged over almost a thousand years. The final collection we possess was used for worship in the second temple. Significantly, like their Old Testament predecessors, New Testament saints too used the Psalms as a guide for their worship of the Triune God.While much of Scripture involves God speaking to man, the book of Psalms expresses man’s response to his Covenant Lord. The various writers of psalms provide inscripturated responses of worship to their Sovereign in the midst of the heights and depths of life. And, because the various writers of the Psalms lived in the same sin-cursed world as we New Testament believers do and worshipped the same God, the Psalms have continuing practical value for us. Further, the writers of the Psalms, while composing their religious lyric poetry from a wide spectrum of emotional heights and depths of life, intended for other believers to identify with them as they pray to and praise their Covenant Lord. Thus, by the nature of the inspired poetry found in the Psalter, the Psalms have great value for Christians.My objective is to develop a series of posts that provide an overview of the Psalms. This series of posts is an outgrowth of a class that I teach entitled “Understanding the Psalms.” My specific plan with this series of posts is to sample a number of genres and key psalms associated with each genre.A genre is a literary category. In the case of Psalms, genre functions to identify common and disparate features among the various psalms and to categorize them accordingly. That is, based upon items such as common mood, literary features and content, individual psalms are placed in groups with similar psalms. With this study, I will examine six such genres used in the Psalms: (1) lament, (2) praise, (3) thanksgiving, (4) kingship & covenant renewal, (5) trust, and (6) wisdom. Since most of these six genres are subdivided into subcategories, I will also survey these. And, for the sake of familiarity, this series will follow the canonical order of the Psalms found in the Protestant Canon. With my treatment of each psalm, I will explain the psalm’s generic classification, structure and message.With the next post, we will look at Psalm 1, the first wisdom psalm in the Psalter.

Two–day Mid-America Conference on Preaching

The Mid-America Conference on Preaching is planned by Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary and held at Inter-City Baptist Church. The MACP has been held annually since 1991. The title of this year’s conference is “Learning from the Past, Pressing toward the Future” and will be on October 18–19. Now is the time to begin making plans for this year’s conference. For more information go to www.dbts.edu.

The Gospel and China

 

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 Yesterday, September 7, 2007 marked 200 years since the first Protestant missionary began his work in China. The name of this missionary was Robert Morrison, a Scottish Presbyterian. John Piper had a challening message on September 7, 2007 entitled Mark This Day and Marvel at the Work of God.Though the western world has limited knowledge about the gospel’s advancement in China—a communist country that has suppressed Christian missions since the middle of the twentieth century, I have heard of figures that estimate that there is anywhere from 40 million to 111 million Christians. I am convinced that God’s people, even in the midst of persecution, desire to snatch fallen sinners out of the fire and they do this by sharing the gospel. While we have limited knowledge about the spread of the Gospel in China, these figures verify a biblical truth that should create genuine worship and praise for our Triune God: God’s electing purposes cannot be thwarted.Because of God’s own good pleasure, he is saving out an elect people who transcend every tribe, language, people and nation (Rev 5:9). As Scripture clearly teaches, God only regenerates people in conjunction with the Gospel message. As such, God uses the necessary means of gospel-preaching, with missionaries such as Robert Morrison, to take the message of the resurrected Christ beyond their own lands in order to glorify their God as they see God’s people come to faith. This principle was reflected in the early days of the Church as the Gospel was proclaimed to Gentiles: “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). May God help us to glorify our God by being faithful in our witness both at home and abroad.

Christian Aerospace Engineer Who Takes Genesis Literally

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This picture of an astronaut on the moon is from NASA.

Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, with Creation Ministries International, interviews Michael Tigges, a Senior Aerospace Engineer with NASA and recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, about his views of outer space and Genesis (this interview was originally published in the journal Creation 28 [December 2005–February 2006], pp. 28–31). This is a great interview that shows there is a difference between operational science and the modern debate about origins. According to Tigges, which side of the creation-evolution debate a scientist embraces affects virtually no aspect of operational science, such as the flight of planes and spacecrafts. However, he maintains that mixing creation and evolution has serious consequences on a person’s walk with Christ. As a young earth creationist, Tigges shows that one can hold to a literal interpretation of Genesis and still be an effective scientist. Check out the article at http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4712.