The GeoChristian

The Earth. Christianity. They go together.

My way or the highway — adultery edition

The age of the Earth is and should be a secondary doctrinal issue within Christianity. It is not up there with central Biblical teachings such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ, or justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Nor is it up there with doctrines such as baptism, the Lord’s supper, election, and the work of the Holy Spirit, all of which Christians have differences on.

Some young-Earth creationists will say that the reason the age of the Earth is a primary issue is because if one does not interpret Genesis the way they do, one denies the authority of the Scriptures on which all other doctrines are based. This allegation is demonstrably false. Like many other old-Earth Christians, I believe the Bible from the very first verse, and my old-Earth beliefs do not compromise a single core doctrine of the faith.

One example of a young-Earth creationist who looks at the age of the Earth as a primary doctrinal issue is Henry Morris III, CEO of the Institute for Creation Research, and son of ICR founder Henry Morris. According to the ICR article Geologist Claims Creationists Abandoned Faith (an article which brings up another topic I really need to write about), Morris was asked, “Do you believe that you can be a committed biblicist and come up with an old age view as [old-Earth Christian Glen Morton] has done?” Henry Morris III’s reply was,

“It’s kind of like asking: Can you be a Christian and an adulterer.”

I’m wondering if Dr. Morris replies in a similar way to Christians who disagree with him on other doctrinal matters:

Christian: Can I be a Christian and differ with you on baptism?

Morris: “It’s kind of like asking: ‘Can you be a Christian and an adulterer?’”

Christian: Can I be a Christian and differ with you on the timing of events in the end times?

Morris: “It’s kind of like asking: ‘Can you be a Christian and an adulterer?’”

Christian: Can I be a Christian and differ with you on the Holy Spirit?

Morris: “It’s kind of like asking: ‘Can you be a Christian and an adulterer?’”

Grace and Peace

January 29, 2013 Posted by | Age of the Earth, Apologetics, Christianity, Creation in the Bible, Geology, Old-Earth creationism, Origins, Young-Earth creationism | , , , | 6 Comments

GeoScriptures — Genesis 1:1 — “In the beginning God” vs Carl Sagan

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

“The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” — Carl Sagan, from Cosmos.

Which of these two quotes is a scientific statement, and which is a religious statement?

The initial reaction most people—including Christians— have had when I have asked this question is that the quote from Genesis is a religious statement, and the quote from Sagan is a scientific statement. In reality, both statements are religious or philosophical in nature, but only the Genesis quote is fully compatible with the universe as we know it.

I won’t dispute that the quote from the Bible is a religious statement. If religion is about God and his relationship to the universe and humanity, then Genesis 1:1 is clearly a religious statement.

Carl Sagan’s famous Cosmos statement is also a philosophical—and I would say religious—statement. Sagan had not observed that “the cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be,” nor had he nor any other scientist done an experiment which proved that God doesn’t exist or isn’t necessary. In other words, Sagan had not used anything like “the scientific method” to arrive at his conclusion, and his Cosmos quote is a philosophical statement, not a scientific one.

Atheists such as Sagan would say that science has explained everything from nuclear fusion to sexual reproduction without any need for inserting God into the process and so their faith that there is no God is justified (faith is the right word, even if they would scramble to say it in a different way). But in doing this they are confusing categories. It is one thing to say that stellar evolution or meiosis can be explained without inserting a “God did it” step. Christians do not insert a “God did it” step into these processes either. However, it is an entirely different matter to explain why there is a cosmos at all. This question is outside of science, and is one that theists have a better explanation for than do atheists.

Many dismiss the Christian belief that God created the entire cosmos—matter, energy, space, time, and laws—as coming from a primitive myth. By “cosmos” I mean “everything that is or ever was or ever will be,” which would include the multiverse (if there is such a thing) beyond our observed universe, but would not include God. Only one of the following statements, however, is actually compatible with the cosmos as we know it:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

“In the beginning, nothing created everything.”

In the universe we live in, things do not pop into existence completely out of nothing. I am not talking about random quantum fluctuations creating subatomic particles here and there, because these particles are not truly popping up out of nothing. By nothing, I mean nothing — no space, time, matter, energy, nor laws. Because of this, it is incompatible with what we know about the cosmos—that is, it is incompatible with science—to believe that the cosmos came from absolutely nothing, or that it somehow created itself.

On the other hand, it is compatible with the universe as we know it (i.e. science) to advocate that it was caused to exist by something completely outside of it. There is absolutely no scientific reason, therefore, for a scientist to not accept that “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Grace and Peace

January 27, 2013 Posted by | Apologetics, Astronomy, Atheism, Christianity, Creation in the Bible, GeoScriptures, Old-Earth creationism, Origins, Theistic evolution | , | 10 Comments

Around the web 1/26/2013

GENESIS 1:1 IN KLINGON — Creationism.com has Genesis 1:1 in Klingon.

gen-1-1-klingon

I guess that might come in handy if a Klingon shows up at the next Answers in Genesis conference.

For those of us who don’t know the Klingon alphabet, there is an English transliteration.

Oh my, there are links to the Klingon Bible — here and here. “yeSuS ‘IHrIStoS, [Qun’a’ puqloD] Delbogh De’ QaQ’e’ taghlu’.”

I actually don’t look at this as a useless exercise. If I were a Trekie who was into learning Klingon, I would want to be able to communicate the gospel in a way that my fellow Trekies could relate to.

YEC EXPEDITION FAILS TO FIND LIVING DINOSAURS IN CONGO — From Creationtoday.org (formerly drdino.com): In Search of Mokele-mbembes.

WAYS IN WHICH MILLIONS OF US COULD DIE — Planetary disasters: It could happen one night. Mega-tsunamis, super-volcanoes, gamma-ray blasts, fungal attacks, asteroid impacts, solar flares…

The Sun occasionally launches outsize solar flares, which fry electricity grids by generating intense currents in wires. The most recent solar megastorm, in 1859, sparked fires in telegraph offices; today, a similarly sized storm would knock out satellites and shut down power grids for months or longer. That could cause trillions of dollars in economic damage. A solar flare some 20 times larger than that may have hit Earth in 774…

 

BIBLE TOWNSThe ten most Bible-minded cities in America. And the least Bible minded cities.

A WILD RIDE — This doesn’t have much to do with Christianity, science, the Bible, etc., but this documentary on Al Jazeera was fascinating: Risking it all: Pakistani truckers’ perilous journey.

Grace and Peace

January 26, 2013 Posted by | Around the Web, Natural Disasters, Young-Earth creationism | , , , , , | 4 Comments

We were wrong

Here is my belated Martin Luther King Jr. Day post, a quote from How Martin Luther King Jr. Overcame “Christian” White Supremacy by Southern Baptist Russell D. Moore.

On the question of civil rights in the American Christian context, there is little question that, with few exceptions, the “progressives” were right, often heroically right, and the “conservatives” were wrong, often satanically wrong. In the narrative of the dismantling of Jim Crow, conservatives were often the villains and progressives were most often on the side of the angels, indeed on the side of Jesus.

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But regardless of personal faith, the civil rights heroes indicted conservative hypocrites, prophetically, with the conservatives’ own convictional claims. And, as Jesus promised, “My sheep hear my voice and they follow me.”

The arguments for racial reconciliation were persuasive, ultimately, to orthodox Christians because they appealed to a higher authority than the cultural captivity of white supremacy. These arguments appealed to the authority of Scripture and the historic Christian tradition.

This authority couldn’t easily be muted by a claim to a “different interpretation” because racial equality was built on premises conservatives already heartily endorsed: the universal love of God, the unity of the race in Adam, the Great Commission and the church as the household of God.

With this the case, the legitimacy of segregation crumbled just as the legitimacy of slavery had in the century before, and for precisely the same reasons. Segregation, like slavery, was shown to be what all human consciences already knew it to be: not just a political injustice or a social inequity (although certainly that) but also a sin against God and neighbor and a repudiation of the gospel. Regenerate hearts ultimately melted before such arguments because in them they heard the voice of their Christ, a voice they’d heard in the Scriptures themselves.

Grace and Peace

January 26, 2013 Posted by | Christianity, Ethics | , , | 1 Comment

One more reason why I am pro-life

This is why President Obama should be pro-life:

Here’s my “potential” story from Roe v. Wade week two years ago: Fifty million little leaguers and pianists later.

Grace and Peace

HT: Cyberbrethren

January 22, 2013 Posted by | Ethics, Videos | , , , | 3 Comments

Six bad answers from Answers in Genesis are still six bad answers

Back in 2009, I posted a six-part review of a series of young-Earth creationist (YEC) articles on “Six main geologic evidences for the Genesis Flood.” The YEC articles appeared in “Answers” magazine, which is published by Answers in Genesis. As part of my “blog recycling program,” I am providing links to my posts:

Six bad arguments from Answers in Genesis (Part 1) — Fossils at the top of Mount Everest are not evidence for a global flood. Most fossil-containing layers, such as crinoid-rich Mississippian limestones, are extremely difficult to explain using young-Earth creationist flood geology. How did all of those fossils stay together in an ecological package in a global flood?

Six bad arguments from Answers in Genesis (Part 2) — A global flood is not necessary to explain “fossil graveyards.” In fact, a global flood would scatter fossils vertically and horizontally, and would abrade delicate structures that are preserved in the finest fossil specimens.

Six bad arguments from Answers in Genesis (Part 3) — There are sedimentary rock layers that cover well over a million square kilometers. Rather than suggesting global-scale catastrophism, the continent-wide extent of these formations makes the deposition of subsequent layers extremely difficult to explain by flood geology.

Six bad arguments from Answers in Genesis (Part 4) – The YEC claim is that it is impossible for normal geological processes to explain the transport of sediments from one side of a continent to another. But in reality, rivers such as the Mississippi, Nile, and Amazon do that very thing.

Six bad arguments from Answers in Genesis (Part 5) — Erosional gaps between sedimentary formations are consistent with old-Earth geological explanations. Young-Earth creationists, on the other hand, have a difficult time explaining paleosols (preserved ancient soil layers) and paleokarsts (preserved limestone dissolution features) in the rock record. Because paleosols and paleokarts imply the passage of time, YECs usually resort to an “it only looks like _______” argument, like “it only looks like an ancient soil, despite the root casts, filled critter burrows, and preserved soil horizons.”

Six bad arguments from Answers in Genesis (Part 6) — The YEC claim is that layers of sediment must be soft in order to be tightly folded. Both laboratory and field studies prove that this is simply not true, and it is usually straightforward to determine whether rocks were consolidated or unconsolidated when deformed.

As you read these, it is important to keep in mind that the Bible nowhere says that the geological record was formed by Noah’s flood. The Bible does not require a young Earth nor does it require a global flood. In light of this, no one should reject Christ or Christianity because of the findings of the geological sciences.

Grace and Peace

January 22, 2013 Posted by | Age of the Earth, Apologetics, Blog Recycling, Christianity, Evolution, Geology, Old-Earth creationism, Origins, Young-Earth creationism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Maps showing every country, state, and county I have ever been in

Every few years, I have posted maps of every country, U.S. state, and U.S. county I have ever been in. It is time for an update.

Since I last posted, in August 2009, I have added one country (South Korea), zero states, and thirty-one counties (in Kansas, Nebraska, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Arizona). I do not have any airport-only countries or states, but I do have one airport-only county (Queens, New York), and one port-only county (Norfolk, Virginia).

World map — 11 countries:

U.S. map (states) — 46 states:

U.S. map (counties) — 931 out of 3109 counties (excluding Alaska and Hawaii):

Created with ArcGIS 10.1

Created with ArcGIS 10.1 — Click for larger image

I believe that this is pretty accurate, especially after about age ten. I can remember, for example, the route my family took for family vacation from Montana to California and back in 1973 when I was twelve years old. I also remember the routes of some long bus rides: Billings, Montana to New Orleans for a national Lutheran youth gathering in 1976 (?), and Bozeman, Montana to Daytona Beach, Florida for a Campus Crusade for Christ conference in 1982.

I have lived in Montana, Utah, Montana again, Washington, Missouri, Romania, Colorado, Missouri again, and Montana again.

Since I was in my early twenties, I have kept track of my travels with a highlighter in Rand McNally road atlases. I’m on my second highlighted atlas, and it is getting rather worn.

RandMcnally3

Page from my Rand McNally “every place I’ve ever been” atlas

I was able to create the “Counties I’ve Been In” map by looking at which counties had highlighted roads in the the atlas.

Grace and Peace, from a map nerd.

January 20, 2013 Posted by | Geography, Maps | , , , | 1 Comment

GeoScriptures — John 1:1,14 — God in a dot

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. — John 1:1,14 (NIV 1984)

Perhaps one of the most extraordinary claims of the Christian faith is not that God created the universe (many philosophers believe there must be something outside of the universe that created the universe), or that God can work miracles such as the parting of the Red Sea, but that Jesus Christ (the Word of John chapter one) was God in the flesh. In verse one, it states that “the Word was God,” and in verse fourteen John writes that “The Word became flesh.”

This means that the God who created the entire universe (with all of its laws, energy, and matter), who knows both the position and momentum of each subatomic particle in the universe, and without whom the universe would cease to exist in less than a nanosecond—this God of “all there is or was or ever will be,” became a human being. Not only did God become fully human (while retaining full deity), he became a zygote, a fertilized ovum, about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.

Much of this is mysterious to us. How can someone be fully God and fully human? How can God, as the second person of the Trinity, be compressed into a single human cell? We don’t fully know, but we can be filled with wonder.

This tells us several important things about the God of the universe:

  1. God is not the God of the deists; a God who winds up the clock of the universe and then lets it run its course without intervention. God is not only involved in the day-to-day running of the universe, he actually has stepped into his creation to become a creature.
  2. God cares deeply about human beings. God does not look at the heart-wrenching suffering and injustices in this world with indifference, as some accuse him of doing. Instead, God entered into this mess in the person of Jesus Christ. He was born into poverty, saw and experienced great sorrow and suffering, was sentenced to death in a series of unjust trials, and was severely beaten before being nailed naked to a roughly-hewn piece of wood. This is not a God who ignores our pain, but who takes the sin of the world upon himself.
  3. Zygotes matter to God. Embryos matter. The Word became flesh at the point of conception. This tells us that a fertilized egg—a zygote—is fully human, which implies that to kill a zygote (i.e. abortion) is the moral equivalent of murdering any other human.

Grace and Peace

January 20, 2013 Posted by | Creation in the Bible, Ethics, GeoScriptures | , , , | 3 Comments

Around the web 1/19/2013

THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION WAS/IS A DISASTER — Broken families, sexually-transmitted diseases, abortions. So says writer A.N. Wilson (who speaks from experience) at Mail Online: I’ve lived through the greatest revolution in sexual mores in our history. The damage it’s done appals me.

I made myself and dozens of people extremely unhappy — including, of course, my children and other people’s children.

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More than half of those questioned in the GfK’s most recent survey said that it was a stable relationship which made them happy. Half those who were married said they were ‘very happy’, compared with only a quarter of singles.

The truth is that the Sexual Revolution had the power to alter our way of life, but it could not alter our essential nature; it could not alter the reality of who and what we are as human beings.

It made nearly everyone feel that they were free, or free-er, than their parents had been — free to smoke pot, free to sleep around, free to pursue the passing dream of what felt, at the time, like overwhelming love — an emotion which very seldom lasts, and a word which is meaningless unless its definition includes commitment.

How easy it was to dismiss old-fashioned sexual morality as ‘suburban’, as a prison for the human soul. How easy it was to laugh at the ‘prudes’ who questioned the wisdom of what was happening in the Sexual Revolution.

About one-third of marriages in Britain end in divorce

Yet, as the opinion poll shows, most of us feel at a very deep level that what will make us very happy is not romping with a succession of lovers.

In fact, it is having a long-lasting, stable relationship, having children, and maintaining, if possible, lifelong marriage.

The Bible has it right — Life-long commitment. Self-control. A stable environment for raising children.

HT: Cranach

THE EGYPTIAN ANGLE ON GENESIS 1 — Usually Genesis is compared to Mesopotamian creation accounts, such as the Babylonian Enuma Elish. Apologist Greg Koukl (Stand to Reason) has a short video on Understanding the Creation Account in Genesis in which Egyptian creation myths are given stronger consideration, which makes sense being that the immediate background for the Pentateuch is not Mesopotamian but Egyptian.

THE DAYS OF GENESIS 1 — Tough Questions Answered Blog posted this in 2009, but it showed up in my Google Reader this week. What is the Meaning of the Word “Day” in Genesis? gives a nice refutation of the YEC insistence that the only valid way to understand the Hebrew word yom is a literal, 24-hour, consecutive, solar day only a few thousand years ago.

THINGS YOUNG-EARTH CREATIONISM DOESN’T EXPLAIN, PART 568 — From Naturalis Historia, The World’s Largest Rock Tumbler and the Age of the Earth.

OLD EARTHERS ARE NOT ORTHODOX AND ARE NOT WANTED — I don’t get involved in that many conversations on other blogs. I wandered into a discussion about Tim Keller on the A Daughter of the Reformation blog. I commented because the post had to do with what is going on within my present denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America. One of many things that attracted me to the PCA is that it has allowed for a diversity of views on the timing of creation since its inception, just as conservative Reformed theology has for well over a hundred years. But not all are happy with the status quo.

I posted a few comments, several of which never made it out of comment moderation, or, if they did, were severely edited (to the point of no longer making sense in one case). I guess dialog regarding Genesis is not encouraged.

[Update 1/20/13 — All of my comments have now been deleted]

THIRTY YEARS AND STILL ERUPTING — Kilauea has been erupting continuously for thirty years, since January 3, 1983. NASA Earth Observatory.

Kilauea lava fountain -- USGS Hawaii Volcano Observatory

Kilauea lava fountain — USGS Hawaii Volcano Observatory

Grace and Peace

January 19, 2013 Posted by | Age of the Earth, Apologetics, Around the Web, Creation in the Bible, Geology, Origins, Young-Earth creationism | , , | 2 Comments

Humans and galaxies — the incalculable value of people

A quote from Seven Days that Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science, by John Lennox, p. 99.

“So, both Genesis and science say that the universe is geared to supporting human life. But Genesis says more. It says that you, as a human being, bear the image of God. The starry heavens show the glory of God, yes; but they are not made in God’s image. You are. That makes you unique. It gives you incalculable value. The galaxies are unimaginably large compared with you. However, you know that they exist, but they don’t know that you exist. You are more significant, therefore, than a galaxy. Size is not necessarily a reliable measure of value, as any woman can tell you as she looks at the diamonds on her finger, and compares them with lumps of coal.”

Grace and Peace

January 17, 2013 Posted by | Astronomy, Christianity, Creation in the Bible | , | 2 Comments

Around the web 1/12/2013

THOU SHALT COMMIT ADULTERY — Parchment & Pen Blog has Bible translation bloopers and typos throughout the ages. An example:

“Wife-Beaters’ Bible” (Matthew’s Bible, 1537):
A footnote to I Peter 3:7 is rendered “And if she be not obedient and healpeful unto him, endevoureth to beat the fear of God into her head, that thereby she may be compelled to learn her duty and do it.”

COMET OF THE CENTURY? — Coming to your night skies in November: 2013 comet may be brightest ever seen. But then again, I remember Comet Kohoutek in 1973. Or I should say, I remember lots of hype about Comet Kohoutek, but I don’t remember seeing anything. It was the mega-flop of the century.

WHITE HOUSE REFUSES TO BUILD A DEATH STARWhite House responds to Death Star petition: No.

And some accused the Bush administration of being anti-science.

THE TRUE CAUSE OF NOAH’S FLOOD??? — Here it is, from a pastor named Scott Lively: Wedding songs for homosexual marriages.

Here’s what the Bible says about God’s reason for sending the flood:

The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.” — Genesis 6:5-7 (NIV 1984)

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. — Genesis 6:11-13 (NIV 1984)

I guess Scott Lively thinks Genesis has it wrong. Genesis  singles out violence, but since he knows that homosexual behavior is worse than violence, God’s reason for the flood must be homosexual wedding songs, despite what Genesis actually says.

HT: Internet Monk Saturday Ramblings

Grace and Peace

January 13, 2013 Posted by | Around the Web, Young-Earth creationism | , , , | 1 Comment

What the Bible says directly about biological evolution

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January 13, 2013 Posted by | Apologetics, Biology, Christianity, Creation in the Bible, Evolution, Geology, Old-Earth creationism, Origins, Theistic evolution, Young-Earth creationism | , | 1 Comment

GeoScriptures — Genesis 3:15 — The Protoevangelium

“I will put enmity between you and the woman,
     and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
     and you shall bruise his heel.” — Genesis 3:15 ESV

The Bible, despite containing passages and books with a great diversity of cultural backgrounds, literary genres, authors, and topics, has several key themes that run throughout its pages, beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation. One of these themes is that of salvation: that though humans are sinful and in rebellion against their Creator, God has had a plan since the beginning (actually from before the beginning) to rescue and save us out of our sin and its consequences. Right now, we are somewhere past the middle of this process, which began in Genesis, culminated in the incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, and will have its ultimate consummation when Christ wraps things up upon his return.

The first of many mentions in the Old Testament of God’s promise of a Messiah (an “annointed one” who would save God’s people from their sins) is in Genesis 3:15, which is referred to by Biblical scholars as the Protoevangelium, from the Latin for “first gospel.” After Adam and Eve fell into sin, God addressed the serpent, who is Satan (Rev 12:9) and pronounced his judgment of doom. Satan may have had a temporary victory in causing the first pair to succumb to temptation, but God would send an offspring of Eve who would crush Satan’s head, though Satan might cause a wound to this offspring in the fight.

This offspring (or more literally, “seed”) of Eve is the Lord Jesus Christ. At the crucifixion of Christ, Satan bruised Christ’s heel in a figurative sense, and may have once again thought he had won a great victory. That triumph, however, was again only temporary, as Jesus rose from the dead and bruised Satan’s head, which is a far more serious blow than having one’s heel bruised. Christ’s death secured forgiveness of sins for those who trust in Christ, and his resurrection gave us victory over our final enemy, which is death (Heb 2:14).

The Protoevangelium was an announcement of an individual offspring of Adam and Eve who would destroy the work of the devil. But there is another sense in which we as individuals are either offspring of God, or offspring of Satan. Jesus (in John 8:31-59) got into a discussion (if that is the right word) with a group of Jews who were in opposition to him. They referred to themselves as being children of God (v. 41), but Christ turned and said,

“If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” — John 8:42-44

There are offspring of the serpent, who reject Christ, and children of God (John 1:12), who have put their faith in Christ. Which are you?

Grace and Peace

January 6, 2013 Posted by | Creation in the Bible, GeoScriptures | , , | Leave a comment

Around the web 1/5/2013

EARTH IS JUST ONE PLANET OUT OF 100 BILLION — From Astrobiology.com: 100 Billion Planets May Populate the Galaxy. Not only could there be 1011 planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone, there are an estimated 1021 stars in the universe. This seems to make Earth, and the humans who inhabit it, seem rather insignificant. But consider this quote from John Piper:

Sometimes people stumble over this vastness in relation to the apparent insignificance of man. It does seem to make us infinitesimally small. But the meaning of this magnitude is not mainly about us. It’s about God… The reason for ‘wasting’ so much space on a universe to house a speck of humanity is to make a point about our maker, not us.” –John Piper, Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ.

YOU ARE JUST ONE DOT OUT OF 341,817,095 — An online map showing over 340 million dots, one for each person in the 2010 United States and 2011 Canadian censuses.

Census_dots

Zoom in and individual dots can be resolved. My dot is somewhere in the middle of here:

Census_dots_zoomed

Does being just one dot out of 340,000,000 (or one dot out of roughly 7,000,000,000 on Earth today) make the individual dots insignificant? Not at all. The same God who created the universe with its 1021 stars, or the galaxy with its 100 billion planets, has this to say about you as an individual:

For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” — John 3:16 ESV

DANGEROUS SCIENCE?7 scientists killed by their experiments — Marie Curie, and six others.

COLDER THAN COLD? — According to one report (Science gets colder than absolute zero), temperatures colder than absolute zero are possible.

Absolute zero is often thought to be the coldest temperature possible. But now researchers show they can achieve even lower temperatures for a strange realm of “negative temperatures.”

Oddly, another way to look at these negative temperatures is to consider them hotter than infinity, researchers added.

This unusual advance could lead to new engines that could technically be more than 100 percent efficient, and shed light on mysteries such as dark energy, the mysterious substance that is apparently pulling our universe apart.

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Temperature is linked with pressure — the hotter something is, the more it expands outward, and the colder something is, the more it contracts inward. To make sure this gas had a negative temperature, the researchers had to give it a negative pressure as well, tinkering with the interactions between atoms until they attracted each other more than they repelled each other.

Or perhaps this is in the same category as last year’s report of particles going faster than the speed of light. Interesting, but not true.

Grace and Peace

January 6, 2013 Posted by | Around the Web, Astrobiology, Astronomy, Maps | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Best of the GeoChristian — updated

I have updated the “Best of the GeoChristian” link up at the top of the page.

There is a good variety: posts on Christianity, geology, creationism, the environment, atheism, apologetics, and more.

I would be interested to hear if there is a post that has been especially meaningful or helpful to you, or one that you think is the best of the best of The GeoChristian.

Thanks for reading,

Grace and Peace

January 2, 2013 Posted by | Age of the Earth, Apologetics, Christianity, Creation Care, Creation in the Bible, Environment, Evolution, Geology, Maps, Nature, Old-Earth creationism, Origin of Life, Origins, Theistic evolution, Young-Earth creationism | , | Leave a comment

Creation Creeds

The following item was originally posted in October 2010. I have added it to my blog recycling program. Because I have new readers of The GeoChristian, I will occasionally go back and re-use some of my favorite blog entries (sometimes with a little editing).

This “Creation Creeds” post is a statement of what I, as an old-Earth, theologically conservative, confessional, “Evangelical/Presbyterian (PCA)/with a big dose of Lutheran theology” Christian believe regarding the biblical doctrine of creation.

Creation creed — short version

As an old-Earth creationist

I believe that the universe was created by the triune God of the Bible

I believe that the Bible does not dictate when this creation took place

I believe in a real Adam

in a real garden

in a real fall into sin

in real consequences for that sin

and in Jesus Christ as the only solution for sin

Amen

 

Creation creed — long version

As an old-Earth creationist

I believe that the universe—all that is seen and unseen—was created from nothing by the triune God of the Bible: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

I believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God

I believe that the Bible does not dictate when the creation took place, nor does it state the extent or work of Noah’s flood

I believe in a real Adam and Eve as individuals—the first humans in the image of God—and that we are all descendants of this family

I believe that all humans retain the image of God, and are therefore of very high value

I believe in a real Garden of Eden, which was at a specific location in Mesopotamia, and that the Edenic paradise did not cover the entire Earth

I believe that the natural world has inherent value, and that humans are called to be good stewards of the creation that God has given us, for the glory of God,  for the good of all humanity, and for the sake of the creation itself

I believe in a real fall into sin through Adam’s disobedience to God’s command, and in real consequences for that sin that continue to this day: human physical and spiritual death

I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the only solution for sin, and that those who put their faith in him as their savior will spend eternity with him and with each other in the New Heavens and the New Earth

Amen

January 1, 2013 Posted by | Blog Recycling, Christianity, Creation Care, Creation in the Bible, Environment, Old-Earth creationism, Origins, Young-Earth creationism | | 21 Comments