Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Adam and Eve vs. ... contd

[last paragraph]Given however that the world was created,  a perfectly possible event, [though congressmen do not believe in six day creation because they know they could never do anything in six days] the question turns to whether the human race could indeed trace back to two original ancestors.  Oddly,  in the interview I mentioned on PBS today, the professor began to talk about that quite remarkable reality as though he had said nothing worth noting!  Now if a Creationist speaks of Adam and Eve,  Adam named for the red clay he was formed from, and Eve called the mother of all living, they are accused of dealing with fable, but the Paleontologist is merely referring to scientific theory.]

Two Original Parents

The notion of two original parents though is not at all far afield from current scientific thinking.  In 2003, Time Magazine discussed investigations which trace DNA all the way back to an original pair.  Now whether the success of such an investigation will ever be reached is doubtful due to the state of our methods,  but the fact that at least theoretical the pair could be traced back is under active and open discussion.   The only way there would not be two original parents with human DNA (which is implausible) would be with a strong case for a transitional type,  but that case has all but died:  every transitional type that has been found, has within two decades been discovered as deliberate hoaxes, presumably because even evolutionists know that it is the one string running through their darwinian tapestry that if pulled causes the whole thing to unravel.  If there had been true transitional types,  there would have been countless pieces of evidence by now, as almost 150 years of targeting that main research has been conducted with no results!

Isn't it odd also, that expeditions to find the beginning of human life,  focus on the area of the world where the Bible accounts Eden once was!!!  Genesis tells us both the borders of the place called Eden (the 'Gan' in Hebrew), and yet also makes it clear that without Christ we will not be finding our way back:

  10 And a river went out of Edento water the garden; and from thence it was parted , and became into four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of thesecond river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14 And the nameof the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river isEuphrates.


3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken . 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way , to keep the way of the tree of life. 

In the days when I considered the story of Adam and Eve only a fable,  my reasoning was primarily that of most:  that since we do not see talking serpents and flaming angels, that we must put aside the story to 'allegory' instead of history : this is the legacy of Bultmann's  Higher Criticism from Tubingen in which if something does not make sense to us in the Scriptures, it must bow to us instead of vice versa: in other words human reason determines truth in God's Word instead of God's Word forming and making human reason: it is the substance of the classical debate between Sola Scriptura!  and Fides Et Ratio,  the great divide of the authority of the Word vs. the authority of man.  This was the thesis and antithesis of the Garden: begun in Eden, it continues till today about precisely who is sovereign in life, the world and the universe.

We have a problem with a speaking serpent in the Garden because as noted, we have never seen one.  We see serpents all the time, but they are often small, quiet save for a rattle or rasp, and they slither away with most of us standing in fear or revulsion, and we certainly do not take a great deal of time to know them.  The Serpent in the garden though is mentioned as  obviously of a different nature than the ones we see today, even the biggest, because he knows in the most sinister way how to reason away God's Word.  He also seems to know, though he deceitfully twists it to his line of reasoning, a little bit more about God and heaven than one would think,  and one can surmise that even though he was 'cast down from heaven' and Jesus reports seeing him fall,  that his war against God is not over: he wishes to take the heart and soul of the ones God created to love.  

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die : 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened , and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 
  He is calling God a liar, because God said they would die if they ate,  and he is trying to 
inculcate his own motives against God: to become as God.   The serpent elswhere is described
not as a revulsive thing, but as ornate:

    12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, andsay unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering,the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created . 14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth ; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created , till iniquity was found in thee. 16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned : therefore I will cast thee a sprofane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Ezekiel 28: 12-17

The serpent then was of a different KIND than modern serpents, and yet at the same time the forerunner, as God promised he would be distinctly abased:

 And the LORD God said unto theserpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go , and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: Gen 3:14

The remnant form of the serpent in most creates revulsion and we have an innate fear unless we overcome it, to stay away from snakes, even when they are harmless.  The fallen angel, the devil or Satan (shatan in Hebrew) continues to war in the divine, but the form, whether it is the current species or not still serves a reminder to the cost to all of the Fall of man.

This study is not particularly though about the Fall or the meaning of it, since most Christians are aware of its implications and our need for redemption because of it.  The question is whether it is plausible and can be easily received as HISTORY and not mythology, and I am quite certain that it can.   The issue at hand is whether we can accept as reality something we have not seen before and that is the central issue of faith:  that faith is "the substance of things not seen".  

When I first became a Christian, I had heard of 'faith healings' but I did not believe in them.  I was a psychologist, a professor, and we liked to throw around words like 'empirical evidence' and 'operational definitions'. We tested what we could see and verify and argued even about that.  i have seen since both true and false healings:  but when I first saw a real healing, i was dumbfounded and overjoyed.  The first thought a doubting person has is that the event is 'rigged' or set up to look true, and one cannot say that does not occur,even too often.  Real healings though do absolutely occur by spoken word in the Holy Spirit or the laying on of hands, and once I saw the thing,  I never doubted the true again, though it was not the highest point in faith for me nor doubting Thomas.    I saw what I believed could not possibly be.  It just could not, but there it was in front of me, and not just that once but many times later because Jesus, the healer has never ceased to exist via the indwelling Holy Spirit of God.

likewise, we cannot imagine nor fathom except in Hollywood or storybook fantasies, that such things could be as 'talking serpents'  but this one before all form was erased was a wonder to look at,  and had a divine persona:  he was jealous, vain, proud, deceitful and cruel and heartless:  he began immediately to try vindictively to take the human race with him.  This is sheer speculation and i will not make doctrine of it, but I wonder, since he was cursed losing his form and beauty,  whether that is not the reason he tries to align himself with earthly power and royalty, 'borrowing' their countenance because his own is no more, or whether part of the unknown interchange between God and Satan about the Messiah required a 'visage so marred'  that he was not desired:  again, don't make doctrine of it, but it would make sense.
So the problem then with our belief, is not callous denial,  but that something is reported in Scripture which we cannot imagine and did not see in this world, but that does not mean that it was not the case.   The great deceiver,  the anti-christ or the 'against-Christ' like man though moreso lost his beateous form and countenance because of sin and separation.

Adam and Eve as real People

To me the most telling evidence that Adam and Eve were real people and not archetypes or myths, is that they had the most extensive genealogy ever kept,  and that to some extent from dates we do know, we can even closely estimate when they were on earth by flood dates by going backwards with the information in the Scriptures.  We know their children and thier lineage. We know the descent to Noah, and the descent afterwards:  myths do not carry extremely dateable genealogies.

more to follow....


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Adam and Eve, vs. the Speculated Possibility of a Big Bang or Something Else, Caused by Something Nobody Knows, by Random Chance which Resulted in the Entire Universe as We Know it Part II

I always thought the word 'apologist' in the theological sense was rather arrogant, and while the definition may be encased in jargon and jaundice, the notion that one must make an argument to defend God's word or doctrine has always seemed to me superfluous. Faith does not depend on human reason, although that appears to be the prevailing position of the 20th and 21st centuries. Kierkegaard and others well exercized in 'apologetics' reached the point of divine reasoning that most intellectuals and theologians reach who come to believe in God and His Word: they reach a point where reason fails, and one must make what Kierkegaard called a "Leap of Faith". Faith, as we are taught, is the substance of things not see....and there are many things on a natural level we invest faith in: things that have not yet occurred, or things that cannot be sensed, touched, smelled, seen or heard. We have faith that the sun will come up tomorrow morning, even though we have not seen tomorrow's sunrise. We have seen many sunrises that occur though. We have faith that the world exists outside the wall that surrounds my desk: though I do not see it, it has always been there. Science tells us there is air, and our lungs confirm it with every breath, but we can not touch or see air, and can experience only changes in the way it rests. {e.g. wind}

One of the closer ideas though to faith in God, is our faith in history and historical events. It takes faith to believe in George Washington: we have evidences such as letters and artifacts, we have reports and documents, and we believe them, but there are no longer eyewitness accounts, and the man has been dead for about two centuries. We see traces and read reports and listen to others, but we cannot encounter the reality of the person in the past. Few though, have any doubt that George Washington existed and assumed the office of President first, but our BELIEF is based upon evidence and remnants and accounts.

The very clear evidence that BELIEF in Jesus Christ is a divine battle, is that with far more eyewitness accounts and documents, we have scholars and even theologians today who argue that he did not even exist: they know about the Synoptic Gospels, the 'eyewitness' accounts reported over and over, they know about
number of significant people throughout history who have attested to his reality, they know about the historical accounts in secular history which verified his presence in the first century, but they do not accept it as credible. However, they accept far less as evidence for such events as the creation of the Septuagint, the death of Julius Caesar, or Hadrian crossing the Alps. The question always gets down to BELIEF.

Such is the case with origins: the news is currently replete with interviews of Stephen Hawking and others promoting the godless 'Big Bang' or 'spontaneous creation' theory, considering it sort of 'cosmic physics' or in the truest sense 'Meta-Physics', regarding where we come from or for what reason. They posit God is not necessary as 'First Cause'. They do not even attend to what they consider the 'myth' of Adam and Eve, post initial creation by God, and they without thought point to the 'countless creation myths in all cultures, nations and religions' which have existed since the beginning of time. They cannot come to terms with 'kinds' being created at once (it does note them coming out of the sea) Gen 1:20,
or a first man and woman from whom all descend. They ascribe to its comparison to the earth balancing on the back of a turtle, or minerva crawling out of the forehead of Mars.

Adam and Eve though, are not a fable according to Scripture, but are centrally counted in the genealogy of Israel and all others. So the issue becomes whether it is the history of mankind, or whether it is not. For the believer, it is true, because God has said so. That is an issue of trust and not IQ level. For the unbeliever, it will seem ever a metaphor or fable. That also is an issue of choice and faith: faith in an unreasoned and unobserved creation as opposed to an ancient account, with at least a later observable genealogy and history.

Adam and Eve:  

After years of unbelief, I have to admit, that Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was a difficult point of belief. I believed, because I found everything else in God's Word true. Years though of public school and university training, colored my thinking, especially coming out of a discipline [psychology] that is wholly based upon Evolutionary thought and theory.   When I came to Christ though, I understood trust, and surrender,  and I very clearly understood, that what the Word of God taught was true, even if it was not with ease understood by the natural mind.   I was able readily to understand the idea of laying on of hands and healing,  of the Sermon on the Mount, of faith, forgiveness, the atonement, mercy and so many other aspects of belief.   The many years though of rigorous training in unbelief,  had left their indelible marks, and some points of doctrine were very difficult for me, though I held to them in faith, saying that while I did not understand,  I trusted God that they were true.

Perhaps the most imminent was that of the history of Adam and Eve.  It is difficult to comprehend the number of Christians today who believe that one can accept and walk in Christ, and yet hold Adam and Eve as allegorical.  Raised in the Roman Catholic church,  we were read stories of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, with pictures and apples and serpents,  but later,  we heard other 'versions' such as that Adam and Eve 'represented' mankind and God,  or that it was a myth or allegory used to tell a truth.   The problem with that line of thinking is that Adam and Eve, if mythology,  would lead to the Fall of Man being mythology, and if the fall of man were mythological, then there would be no need for Christ to have gone to the Cross to redeem mankind, in short either the entire account is true, or false,  but there is no mix and match as so many try today.

Long Days of Unbelief

My solution then with lapses in faith was what my solution now is: prayer for more faith and belief.   I have never prayed that prayer without a remarkable answer,  and most christians would have far fewer battles with belief, if when they ran up against certain stone walls of doubt, instead of morosely musing about whether there is a God or whether they have been wrong,  would take the entire matter to the Lord in prayer: never fails.  One of the first things that happened after I prayed, was that the church we were attending offered an unusual bible study based upon materials from ICR, Institute for Creation Research, and the one I chose was on the after events of the mount St. Helen' s volcanic eruption.   The film or films we saw showed the resulting landscape and ecosystem changes in the few weeks following the explosion.   The particular issue I struggled with back then was a six day creation:   I was ready to sort of compromise and settle on a 'long day' theory, or a 'gap theory' which I had heard,  wherein one day in the creation account represented a thousand or thousands of years.   That argument though is merely an attempt to assimilate the creation account into a 'politically (in)correct' mode of thinking so that we do not stand so far away from worldly scientific thinking.  Aside from scripture though, 'long day' theories are rather ridiculous, since it would have intimated that in order to be correct, only one part of the earth's ecosystem would have to exist for thousands of years before the next came about, e.g. grass and herb yielding seed would have to have existed for thousands of years before birds and fish and foul,  which often carry the seed, and or in the case of insects pollinate the flowers and fruit trees:  ecosystems work in unison to produce and provide for all in a continuous, divine loop.   The idea of 'long days' is great if you never think at the next level,  a common malady in the American mind today, but the logical inconsistency declares it false.

Creation and Mythology

This leaves only two real options:  either evolution or some other version of secular thought is true, or the account int the bible is true.   The biggest lie that Satan has promoted since 'Hath God said' in the Garden, is the notion that there is no such thing as sin, followed by the notion that the Edenic story is a fable.  One may have a hard time convincing people that Christ is not real when they experience his presence, love and power,  but faith is more easily taken apart at the  end of a long train on the garment of belief: at something that is supposed to have happened  thousands of years ago.   This particular blog is not an attempt to debate intelligent design vs. the big bang theory,  but to look at the very real plausibility of a literal creation, with a literal Adam and Eve.

Today as I was driving in my car listening to public radio, an interview came on of a Paleontology professor discussing dinosaurs, Oh, way back 65 million years ago.  Wow.  Imagine bones that do not decay after that amount of time, even fossilized!  Even fossilization is suspect,  since a hat thrown in a well was found fossilized fifty years later, and if we believe Creation accounts of a young earth of around 6 or seven thousand years, fossils lasting that long are even remarkable:  what we do know is that they exist.  What we don't know is how old they are:  ICR has materials showing the fallacious reasoning of carbon dating which holds whether or not one believes in Creation accounts.  In any event, six days of creation,  is entirely possible depending on what mode God used for Creation.  One thing which was very convincing, was the environmental changes mentioned above in the aftermath of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens:  the physical features of the landscape and ecosystems changed so dramatically in three weeks that  one would think they were looking at some prehistoric scene:  a fossilized forest appears,  though it was not a forest in one sense at all:  it was trees which fossilized immediately,  driven into hard soil by the enormous blast, of which many were upside down!   We know this because we were able to document the events as they occurred, and we knew the pre-existing condition:  it was weird  odd, fascinating and surreal, but it was not a mystery because we could watch the process.  Many more formations speak to the same question.

Given however that the world was created,  a perfectly possible event, [congressmen do not believe in six day creation because they know they could never do anything in six days] the question turns to whether the human race could indeed trace back to two original ancestors.  Oddly,  in the interview I mentioned on PBS today, the professor began to talk about that quite remarkable reality as though he had said nothing worth noting!  Now if a Creationist speaks of Adam and Eve,  Adam named for the red clay he was formed from, and Eve called the mother of all living, they are accused of dealing with fable, but the Paleontologist is merely referring to scientific theory.
to be continued

Monday, April 1, 2013

Judah's Glory is Still the Same: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow


Judah's Glory, founded in 1987 has been an ongoing project of Elizabeth Kirkley Best who is sole author of the materials on the site.   Over the past few years,  there has been an unfortunate move of several persons to try and take over and rewrite sections of the site, or bible studies and tracts to reflect their own points of view,  often in doctrinal error, or because they wish to market the materials which they had no part in for a profit motive and nothing else.   This notice is to inform the Messianic and Christian community, that neither the site or materials have in any way legally changed hands, and will be in my hands without exception.    We encourage honesty and truth in Christian work:  the bible instructs us to 'hold things hones in the sight of all men',  to "defraud not one another",  and not to build on another's foundation.  While we have strictly adhered to this,  the same regard has not been given to my work,  which has become so difficult now as to constitute a civil rights issue of shutting down free speech.  The following should be self evident according to basic Christian principles, but are also issues of the law:

1.  My name and yours are LEGAL MARKS:  they cannot be used without our express and usually written permission.

2. The copyright of a work belongs first to the creator of the work, even before or without registration!!!!  Rewriting a work is a copyright violation and punishable by fines and even imprisonment.

3. All of us write on the same bible topics, so through 2000 years there must be hundreds or thousands of studies on Jairus' daughter, or the woman at the well, or on Elijah, etc,  but that does not mean that we can write exactly the same thing on a topic, or write in a way that prohibits someone from putting out their own work.  I recently had my bible notes stolen,  and now several very similar items are appearing on the net, one from someone known for being 'in the shadows' way too often.   We are supposed to go out of our way not to ruin another ministry.

4. WEBSITES AND BLOGS ARE OWNED:  So is email.  That means that even if you can illegally gain the password, you are not allowed on the site or its editor:  a stolen password is not implicit permission.  Very little on the net is so open source that anyone can 'have at it'.   Every site is owned and registered.

5. You do not own a copyright just by filling out a copyright registration:  the copyright is owned as mentioned above by the creator of the work,  who has to be a signatory to the copyright.

While this should be self evident, there are too many who are not aware of the legalities of work online or other published materials.   In the recent past someone ghosted a copy of my drive and began to freely pass around materials without knowledge of them to anyone who would pay a few bucks.  This is causing us and whoever they sold it too unending heartache,  when people put out versions of my work they do not know is over 15 or 20 years old:  while we still will mostly win,  it brings trouble and strife into the christian community which is unnecessary and divisive.

Judah's Glory will continue until my death, and then I will make a decision about whoat to do with the materials.  Please be wary of anyone claiming to be associated with this ministry, who tries to present or sell the material as open source or available for a fee:  our materials have always been free for use, but the use is not to steal copyrights but to teach Christ, the Messiah.

In His Love,
Elizabeth Kirkley Best