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Gen 32:
Jacob wrestled preincarnated Christ.

“God is spirit,”...(John 4:24)

No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.(1John4:12)

All physical depictions of God in the OT are of God the Son, Jesus.

http://www.biblestudy.org/question/seengod.html


Matt 11:
Yoke=
1 a : a wooden bar or frame by which two draft animals (as oxen) are joined at the heads or necks for working together

"The fatal mistake for the believer is to seek to bear life’s load in a single collar. God never intended a man to carry his burden alone. Christ therefore deals only in yokes! A yoke is a neck harness for two, and the Lord himself pleads to be One of the two. He wants to share the labor of any galling task. The secret of peace and victory in the Christian life is found in putting off the taxing collar of “self” and accepting the Master’s relaxing “yoke.” - J.H. Jowett


Creationism and I.D.
One useful definition of Intelligent Design can be found in the book, Darwinism, Design, and Public Education, edited by Stephen C. Meyer and John Angus Campbell. The definition presented in this book holds that Intelligent Design is “the theory that certain features of the physical universe and/or biological systems can be best explained by reference to an intelligent cause (that is, the conscious action of an intelligent agent), rather than an undirected natural process or a material mechanism.”

Creationism: a doctrine or theory holding that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by God out of nothing and usually in the way described in Genesis - Merriam-Webster Dict.

If you believe that everything was "Very Very Good" and there was no death before sin, then God's hand could not have been guiding an evolution process. Because: Evolution states animals pre-date humans. Natural Selection would necessitate the death of weaker animal species.

What I find humorous is the inability of Evolutionists to allow competing theory to be brought into classrooms. If they are correct, then there should be no problem proving it in class.

Inteligent Design was kept out for years because it was not considered Scientific. Once some articles made it into top rated Scientific Journals that were peer-reviewed, Evolutionists had to come up with another excuse to preclude sharing time in the classroom.

For some decent scientific arguments for Creationism go to:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/

We can go on and on making sometimes futile arguments about intelligent design and creationism. The problem is not so much, I think, that evolutionists do not allow for any competing theory to be discussed in the classroom, it is more the separation of state and religion.

I was taught in my theology classes about the Uncaused Cause and today I believe that indeed there is a Supreme Scientist whose guiding hands continue to have all these seemingly random events in the universe all part of a master plan. There is really nothing "random" about it all. And we continue to evolve as individuals in His Spirit... when nature and
nurture can truly become one in His own plan.

Genesis 32:13-34:31

Mike thank you for providing that link to Bob Deffinbaugh’s writings on Gen 33:1-34:31 that is some good stuff giving great food for thought and fuel by which to evaluate our lives and present conditions. I would advise everyone who hasn’t but who has the time to not only “surf down to about mid-page…” but to read the entire page, lots to eat, digest and apply.


Mike as to your question of the day, No, I’ve never really taken up the debate regarding intelligent design or evolution and that is for me is a choice because I have realized a long time ago, I am not personally called to apologetics by arguing someone into belief. I like to pose questions because I believe that we believe certain thing and philosophies based on what has been “revealed” to us. There are things revealed by “head” knowledge and there are things revealed by revelation. If the person you are speaking to has had not “revelation” knowledge, then trying to convince anyone to believe in intelligent design is futile. I believe, please note that it is only my personal belief and not a doctrine) that God reveals things to those who are knocking seeking and asking to find “Truth” and not to validate their own personal agenda.

Pilate said to Him, Then You are a King? Jesus answered, You say it! [You speak correctly!] For I am a King. [Certainly I am a King!] This is why I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the Truth. Everyone who is of the Truth [who is a friend of the Truth, who belongs to the Truth] hears and listens to My voice.
(John 18:37 AMP)

I once had a tee-shirt that I absolutely loved and wore out it said, “E=MC2 (squared)—Created by God discovered by Einstein, and it had a full frontal picture of Albert in all of his glorious wild hair. Now that shirt caused many people to think.

Truth of the matter no one can recreate in a test tub, in a research lab, anything to prove scientifically Big Bang, the primordial ooze, evolution, or even intelligent design. Even if they could then believing by faith would be thrown out the window. Seeing is not believing, seeing is knowing. And if you know something, unless you knowledge has come by way of revelation then you are no longer operating by faith.

Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
(Hebrews 11:6 NET

Grace and peace,
Ramona


If there was ever an argument for Intelligent design it would be seen in the wonderful awe inspiring documentary "The March of the Penquins" narrated by Morgan Freeman. This documentary follows the mating habits of the emperor penquin in the South Pole, but as Freeman says in his documentary "it's really a love story" and that it is, as we watch the community of penquins protect each other during the storms they face, and of course, as they go through their mating 'ritual' which is so sensitively portrayed, and also as they protect and provide for their chicks.

I just completed a message at my church called "Sex in the City" which was an introduction to the biblical perspective on Human Sexuality versus the destructive way sex is portrayed in the sit coms by the same name as my sermon. If interested in hearing how we used this clip and preached from it, you could go to www.lakesidechurch.on.ca and check out the message online.

I think watching penquins mate was more ennobling to the soul than reading the trashy stuff we read in Genesis 34, where people are seen in their harsh treatment of one another.

Evolution - since we teach we are animals - our young folk act that way. No control. We just give them drugs instead of teaching them about Jesus.

What I found interesting with Jacob/Esau - Jacob was always being disciplined by God. When we see Esau - it appears he had no problems getting all he had. God loved Jacobe but hated Esau. What a lesson.

Love this Bible study. I live in a town where prostitution is legal. Our town dosen't even have a hospital - about 40,000 pop. Every time we try to do something positive - it dies. Now, another 2 brothels want in to our community - God hates sin. No matter how we justify the brothels. our leaders are blinded - no growth. What a lesson. Thanks Mike.

Ramona, God continues to speak to me through the comments you and Mike post. In your latest on 'apologetics'.... may I back up to John the Baptist. My belief is that John DID believe, though he did not know how everything would play out. In order to encourage his disciples in their belief he didn't preach a sermon. Instead, he sent them to Jesus with a question, the answer(s) to which would confirm their faith and encourage them to encourage John!

Another backup question:
From somewhere I had the idea that the Jews wore a blue ribbon around the hem of their garments (and that there might have been a blue band around the hem of the OT traveling sanctuary courtyard curtains). So, could the woman have been thinking about touching the blue hem of Jesus' robe, representing righteousness?

Regarding praying - about everything. I keep having to remind myself to pray -about EVERYTHING. And to have faith that God does answer in the manner that will bring glory to Him.

Luch: May God give you strength in the days ahead. There is so much about health that we continue to learn. We are told how and what to eat by the media and FDA and then find out that maybe it isn't good for us and may cause cancer in some instances. I have been reading about breast and prostate cancer in China - and the articles say it is very rare to see a case of breast or prostate cancer in China. The conclusion in the articles was that this is because the Chinese use little if any dairy products.
-But then other cultures claim garlic promotes longevity and health!
Please consider alternative diet options for your wife's treatment plan. No one ever died because they were "chemo deficient."

Do any of you get the beautifully done CREATION ILLUSTRATED magazine?

http://www.creationillustrated.com/

There are many great Creation web sites out there. Lots to think about, some to discard....

Luch, when I read your comment of …

“I think watching penquins mate was more ennobling to the soul than reading the trashy stuff we read in Genesis 34, where people are seen in their harsh treatment of one another.”

I got an uncomfortable feeling and these scriptures came to mind because He who created those penquins also gave us the bible. And we know that…

All these events happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us, who live at the time when this age is drawing to a close. 1 Corinthians 10:11 NLT

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. 17It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT

veronica

thanks for your comment. I wholeheartedly agree that the scriptures are fully inspired, without one error anywhere, but i must admit as we must all admit, that there are things in the scriptures that make us really blush sometimes, and things that one could write R rated over, but that doesn't lessen inspiration. Having said that I wish we could bypass the book of Judges in our reading but alas we will have to face man's inhumanity to man head on. The Bible just shows us how honest the Bible is in portraying human behaviour at its worst and at its best.

i apologize for any offense i may have caused you or anyone else re my comments.

blessings,

Luch

Regarding the identity of "the man" who wrestled with Jacob, I think it best to be modest in our conclusions. The text gives us Jacob's assessment in Genesis 32:30, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered."

At the very least, the man was God--whether representative (like the pillar of cloud/fire that we will see in the exodus) or a preincarnate Christ, we cannot tell. The text, though, says nothing of an angel.

Re Mike's question on creation, evolution etc. I think Dwayne summarises it nicely in his post - click on his trackback above and scroll down to the end.

So I believe the Genesis story is a true story about the relationship of God with His creation and His relationship and intention with mankind. I believe something like the current evolution theory is a good scientific explanation of how things work, but we need all the factors which play in the process and we may not have them all yet. And to me intelligent design just indicates that God DID know what He was doing when He set off the big bang.

Re Dwayne's last point - I would not presume to comment on how you organize your schools in the USA. ;-)

John,
I think that's a pretty good summation of the difference between Creationism and I.D.

While I probably still lean toward a literal interpretation of the creation narrative, I don't hold it very tightly. God and the Gospel are big enough to transcend and shine thru the sundry interpretations of Genesis.

Dwayne'sworld,

Re yoke:
I don't know? If I abide in Christ and he in me, then I can see him sharing the yoke. At least just as much but maybe more so than a fellow believer. Your driver comment is insightful though - What if Jesus is yoked with us and the Holy Spirit is driving????? I have always thought the shaping, molding, teaching of the new Christian on his path to sanctification is done by Holy Spirit.

Re Separation of Church and State:

Please email me the source of the document that indicates "Separation of Church and State" is a fundamental principle of the U.S. It is not in the Constitution, The Declaration of Ind., nor Bill of Rights.

The court decision did not occur until Jefferson's administration, and the court interpretation was arguably a stretch. The source documant there was a letter from TJ to the Bishop(s?) of Danbury, CT.

Personally, I don't think it is a coincidence that this country's moral decline started at about the same time as prayer was taken out of schools, evolution bacame the teaching de jour, etc.

I don't think it is a good idea to call yourself a Christian country, and then officially (via gov't.) tell God to take a hike. All you have to do is go back to Old Testament and see what consistently happens to Israel when the Gov't and people reject God. And they are God's Chosen people :)

John,

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate the fact that you're disagreeing with me, but doing so respectfully. I'll try to respond in kind.

The first amendment reads, in part:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

While you are correct that the exact words "separation of church and state" do not appear, the intent is still clearly to ensure that the government not saction, while also not hindering, any faith. People are permitted to pray in school, read the bible, etc. But the school, as a government entity, is not permitted to sanction or encourage it.

I would also question your statement about the timing of "moral decline." Each generation decries the moral decline of those after it. It's my opinion that any point in history can legitimately chosen as the "start" of the moral decline.

We do agree on one point, though. The United States has no business claiming to be a Christian country.

Dwayne

Clear to who? The Founding Fathers predominately came from England. The Church of England was state sponsored. The father's wanted nothing to do with an American federally sponsored religion. That is a far cry from the need to have God expunged from our society because it might offend someone, as per the ACLU or other humanist sponsored lawsuits.

Have you been to Washington D.C.? Have you looked at the federally sponsored sculptures on the Supreme court building? Have you seen the Ten Commandments posted inside the Supreme Court Building? Have you written your letter of objection regarding the House and Senate Chaplain who is on Federal payroll and prays before certain sessions? You do know governors and Presidents have called for days of fasting and prayer in this country's history?

Question the moral decline comment all you want: Any charts showing 2005 - 1900 will show an outrageous increase in crime, murders, rapes, abortions, assaults, etc. exploding upwards around 1962 -1963. Also increases in divorces, pornography purchases, white collar crimes, etc.

I acknowledge their are other factors, but the systemic problem is the removal of moral absolutes. Whe moral values become relative, then you can rationalize any action.

I am not sure the Blog is the right place to carry on this discussion, that is why I asked for an email. I am not angry at you, but hearing the same sound-byte answers over the last 18 months on these topics does make my pulse increase a tad :)

oops, that is what I get for going by memory.

'Separation" Supreme court case was 1887, and the source document was letter written to Danbury Baptist group by Thomas Jefferson during his administration.

Need to be more careful before I dispense what I thought were facts :(

Regarding the topic creation vs evolution: If you like good fiction I would recommend Frank Peretti's most recent book called Monster. Its a very good book and will keep your interest as well as make some very good points which will disprove evolution. I encourage everyone to read it. One comment made on the inside jacket says "Frank Peretti is at the top of his game in this ulitimate tale of survival of the fittest". I don't want to say more and reveal the ending but if anyone has read it I would appreciate your comments. Peretti has written many well known books which include The Oath, Piercing the Darkness, The Visitation etc.. Time magazine describes Peretti as "the king of faith based fiction. He makes a good point and puts it in a story format that will entertain people.

Just a thought on Jacob's present to Esau ... in a way it is a repayment for having stolen Esau's inheritance and blessing. Like Zacchaeus in Luke 19:8, Jacob repays "4 times" back what he has stolen.

:-)

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