Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Darwinius Masillae Fossil Find

I would like to address something that’s circling the globe and is hot in the news and it’s called Darwinius Masillae. Some news stories have sensationalized this to the degree of saying, “It’s like finding the lost ark,” or “it’s the scientific equivalent of the Holy Grail.”[1] The hyperbole is breathtaking. It’s been called “the most important find in 47 million years,”[2] and “the mother of all monkeys.”[3]

In actuality all this is, is a silly debate among evolutionists as to whether Darwinius Masillae is an ancestor of lemurs or humans. It’s doesn’t do anything to settle the creation/evolution debate. In light of all the fanfare, we would do well to remember that past candidates like “Lucy” have bestowed fame on their finders but have done precious little to distinguish themselves as prime exemplers of human evolution.

As the corpus of hominid fossil specimen grows, it has become increasingly evident there’s an unbridgeable chasm between hominids and humans. Similar structures on different species don’t provide proof of genealogical relationships. Common descent is simply an evolutionary assumption that’s used to explain similarities. To assume that hominids and humans are closely related because both of them can walk upright is like saying humming birds and helicopters are related because both can fly.

I’ve said this before, but the distance between an ape that can’t read or write and a descendent of Adam who composes musical masterpieces or the sends men to the moon is the distance of infinity. Bottom line—evolution can’t satisfactorily account for the genesis of life, the genetic code, or the ingenious synchronistic process needed to produce life from a single fertilized human egg. It also can’t satisfactorily explain how physical processes can produce metaphysical realities such as consciousness or spirituality.

This incessable drive to produce a missing link is fraught with selling sensationalism, and subjectivism. Instead we should not be pandering, but we should promote solid science. If you’ve looked at this for any period of time, you’re aware of the fact that this hype supposes that Nebraska, Piltdown, and Peking Man, along with Pithecanthropus Erectus are not so significant now, because supposedly now we have the mother of all fossil finds, we’ve found the missing link, or “the most important discovery in evolutionary processes in 47 million years.” You can make this stuff up.

As Christians we need to be able to see through the hype and help others as well, because this has been touted in every newspaper or periodical that I’ve laid my hands on in the last 48 hours. At it’s root, though, it’s just plain old selling and sensationalism!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Was Noah Confused?

When I hear the voice of Professor Bart Ehrman in the many allegations he makes against the Word of God, sometimes I want to weep, other times I want to laugh. Some of the objections he raises I would imagine his students must roll their eyes at. For example, he seems confused about the number of animal Noah took with him on the ark, so he poses the question, Does Noah “take seven pairs of all the ‘clean’ animals, as Genesis 7:2 states, or just two pairs, as Genesis 7:9-10 indicates?”[1]

Well I’d like to pose a different question, does it seem logical to suppose that an author gets confused within the span of a couple of sentences, or it’s more likely that Professor Ehrman is straining at gnats and swallowing a camel? Is his question legitimate or has he once again created a problem out of whole cloth?

Now I don’t mean to pick on him, but he’s a great poster boy for not knowing how to read the Bible in any sense. I mean he is not only a professor gone wild; he’s a wooden literalist on the left. He is stuck in a fundamentalist paradigm.

He has once again created a fictional problem. Why? Because if you go to the text you find out that Genesis 7:9-10 does not say that Noah is to just take two pairs. So Ehrman steps up this straw man by the very language that he uses. I can’t judge his heart, but I got to think he’s smarter than that.

If he really wants his question answered, all he has to do is ask one of his conservative students to simply read the context for him, because several verses back God says to Noah, “You are to bring into the ark two of every living creatures, male and female.” (Gen. 6:19). Now in Genesis 7:2-3, he adds further instruction, “take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and it’s mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and it’s mate. And also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.”

Now together these verses provide a sufficient answer to the question. So what’s the problem? And why is it that Bart Ehrman can go on Jon Stewart, CNN, or PBS and write these books and reasonable people fall for his continuous barrage that the Bible is just riddled with mistakes? Why do they buy this? Well they buy it because they’ve never heard the other side of the story. That’s one of the many reasons I wrote my new booklet The Bible Under Siege. It counters the Bart Ehrman’s of the world. To help equip you counter the attacks, I encourage you to get a copy. You can do so either by going to our website at or by calling 1-888-700-0274.


[1] Bart D. Ehrman, Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them) (New York, Harper One, 2009), 10.

The Bible Increasingly Under Siege

As we discussed previously the Bible is increasingly under siege. This is present in a very visible way through people like Bart Ehrman who is succeeding in his mission to shake the faith of multitudes. He even seems proud to be causing the faith of many of his students in the classroom to waver. He says, “the more conservative students–– resist for a long time, secure in their knowledge that God would not allow any falsehoods into a sacred book. But before long as students see more and more of the evidence many of them find that their faith in the inerrant and absolute historical truthfulness of the Bible begins to waver.”[1]

As this professor has managed to shake the faith of multitudes in the classroom, he’s now bent on shaking the faith of multitudes in the culture. He has systematically forwarded the notion that Bible is not only hopelessly contradictory, but from his perspective a dangerous book in which to believe. In fact, he’s gone as far as to intimate that had we embraced the Gospel of Judas, a Gnostic gospel, instead of the Gospel of John, a canonical gospel, we might well avoided, nothing less than the holocaust itself. [2]

So in light of this onslaught by Bart Ehrman and many others like him in the media, I’ve developed a booklet in order to expose the skin of the truth stuffed with a great big lie. In this new booklet entitled, The Bible Under Siege, you will encounter the memorable acronym L-E-G-A-C-Y as an apt means of remembering factors that credible historians consider in determining the historical reliability and meaning of the Bible. It’s also includes the acronym S-H-A-F-T as means of unearthing and undermining contentions of the Bart Ehrman’s of the world. The “shaft” of the archeologist’s spade is a method by which you can remember that contra Ehrman, what has been discovered in the soil corresponds to what is detailed in the Bible. In addition to exposing the sophistry and scriptorture of professors and pundits the booklet systematically demonstrates that the Bible is divine rather than merely human in origin.

[1] Bart D. Ehrman, Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them) (New York, Harper One, 2009), 6.

[2] Gospel of Judas, National Geographic Channel, aired April 16, 2006, see (accessed April 9.2009).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Truth Assailed by "ism's"

As followers of the Bible Answer Man and Christian Research Institute know, truth as we have known it is under siege. It is being assailed on multiple fronts by a seemingly endless barrage of “ism’s”; such as postmodernism, relativism, hedonism, and philosophical naturalism to name just a few.

To many Christians, truth has apparently become less and less defensible, either because they perceive that truth has become so deconstructed, relative, subjective, and vaporized that—like Humpty Dumpty—they don’t know if it can ever be put back together again, or they believe—perhaps tactically more than rationally—that objective truth exist, but they're simply bewildered and befuddled as how to defend their convictions and instincts.

This is where the Christian Research Institute and the Bible Answer Man broadcast come in. It’s where serious Christians can make a difference by knowing where you stand, by standing your ground and, I think perhaps more importantly than anything else, by standing together. Not standing on the perennial shifting sands of cultural and intellectual fashion. Not on porous platitudes of politically correct secularists whose only God is tolerance. The Christian faith stands on the unshakeable rock of revelation, its God’s Word tested through the ages.

I love what C.S. Lewis once said, “Enemy occupied territory–––that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.”[i] What we have to grasp is that while truth is under siege God hasn’t called us to sit for truth, he’s called us to stand for truth.

When truth is under siege there’s no time for impartiality, indifference or ignorance. This also is certainly not a time for cowardice. It’s a time for righteous revolutionaries, people willing to stand their ground because they’ve witnessed the deadly consequences when godless ideologies are not halted in their tracks.

If you recognize that truth is under siege, and that heresy advances as orthodoxy retreats, there are some options. You can study and that means getting into the Word of God and getting the Word of God into you. It means praying, to attempt to stand against today’s assaults on truth without the power of prayer is sheer folly.


[i] C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1980-renewed), 46.

Do Mark and Matthew Contradict on Jesus Words on Peter’s Denial?

Recently, Bart Ehrman was making the media circuit talk about his new book, Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them). Another of his alleged discrepancy in the Bible is that “in Mark’s Gospel Jesus tells Peter that he will deny him ‘three times before the cock crows twice.’ In Matthew’s gospels he tells him it will be ‘before the cock crows.’ Well which is it–––before the cock crows once or twice?” [1]

In response let me first point out that—as his more attentive students have likely discovered—Professor Ehrman is engaged in a cocky game of slight-of-mind. The truth is that Matthew does not tell us how many times the rooster crowed, he simply tells us that the rooster crowed (Mt. 26:34). As such Ehrman is only knocking down a straw man.

Furthermore, only an extreme literalist bent on undermining Scripture would attempt to make this particular passage walk on all fours. In recounting past events or stories, we obviously don’t all highlight the same details. In the case at hand, Mark simply provides a bit more detail than does Matthew (Mt.26:34; Mk 14:30).

Finally, Ehrman has set up a rigged game in which it’s impossible for him to lose. Since Matthew and Mark do not provide identical testimonies he cries contradiction. Conversely, if they had provided identical testimony he would charge them with collusion.

In sharp contrast to Ehrman’s methodology, credible scholarship looks for a reliable core set of facts in order to validate a historical account. In this case, Matthew and Mark merely provided complementary perspectives.

So there’s no problem and we don’t have to make a big deal out of Bart Ehrman’s all too convenient cock crowing conundrum. It’s easily explained, it’s not a problem and certainly isn’t a reason for us to say that the Bible can’t be trusted. In fact, the reasons the Bible can be trusted are overwhelming including the evidence for the manuscripts themselves, archaeological evidence, predicative prophecy and scriptural synergy.

[1] Bart D. Ehrman, Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them) (New York, Harper One, 2009), 7.

Do Genesis Chapter 1 and 2 Contradict?

I must confess that I did more than one double take when I encountered Bart Ehrman’s first problems with the Hebrew Old Testament. He not only complains that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 use different names for God but that the two chapters are very difficult to reconcile.[1] This is of course hardly true.

The notion of different names for God must surely have Ehrman’s language students rolling their eyes in utter amazement and utter disbelief. As Hebrew students will immediately recognize the author of Genesis uses Elohim to identify God in both chapter one and chapter two. The only notable difference is that in chapter two the author adds Lord or Yahweh to Elohim. It is hardly a stretch to suppose that a single author would underscore the power of God in creation in chapter one and then emphasize that God in creation is likewise God in relationship with respect to humankind in chapter two.

Furthermore, I wonder why the consternation over topical recapitulation. Ehrman himself frequently brings up a topic in general terms and then restates the self same topic in different order with added detail and perspective and, frankly, I’m surprise one of his university Hebrew students hasn’t taken the time to unpack the problem for the professor.

One final point, I’m certainly surprised that in added detail and perspective, Ehrman wonders how light could have been created on the first day when the sun, moon, and stars were not created till the fourth day.[2] It seems to me that even a full blown fundamentalist on the left would recognize that electromagnetic radiation inherit in the big bang produces more than a little light and, certainly, Ehrman believes in the big bang.

These are the kinds of objections that professor Ehrman, and other professors around the country, are using to dissuade their students that the Bible could be the infallible repository for redemptive revelation. There are good answers to the objections he raises over and over ad nauseum and ad infinitum. There not unusual objections, they’ve been raised before, and we provide those at the ministry of the Christian Research Institute and Bible Answer Man radio broadcast.

Evangelism by Our Love, Lips and Life

Anybody out there remember the Great Commission? In the Great Commission Christ called us not only to make converts but to make disciples. A disciple is, of course, a learner and follower of Jesus Christ. We are called to the task of making disciples through the testimony of our love, our lips and our lives.

One of the secrets of growth in the early Christian church was the testimony of its love. The love of Christ not only compelled early Christians to be ambassadors but constrained the world to take note of these ambassadors as well. The love of Christ was so contagious that is swept through the Roman Empire like wild fire.

The early Christian church transformed an empire not only through the testimony of its love but also through the testimony of its lips. The book of Acts in particular tells us that on the day that Stephen was martyred “a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria”(Acts 8:1) Those who were scattered preached the word wherever they went. I think therein is the secret of growth in the early Christian church: every believer was a witness for Christ.

While it is true that not everyone was called to be an evangelist, everyone was called to evangelize. That’s why we here at the Christian Research Institute and Bible Answer Man radio broadcast take seriously the task of equipping for “works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Eph. 4:12).

Of course closely related to the testimony of our lips is the testimony of our lives. I remember the story of man who was working in a factory in the north of England. He was standing on a ladder and lost his balance and was skewered on a red hot metal disc and his workmates ran around frantically looking for a doctor, and the man cried out, “Forget the doctor, I’m dying, can anyone tell me how to get right with God?” Of the more than 300 men in the factory, not one stepped forward. Later one of the men confessed that he could have stepped forward but the testimony of his life had long ago silenced the testimony of his lips.

If we testify only by our lives, we’re in danger of testifying only to ourselves. On the other hand, if the testimony of lives blithe the testimony of our lips, we might well be dragging the name of Christ through the mud. We have to testify both by our lives and our lips. It is clear to me that it is not the pastor’s calling to do the work of ministry by himself. The pastor is called to “prepare God’s people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature” (Eph 4:12-13).