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The Organizing, Sustaining Power of God

“If He sets His heart on man, if He gathers to Himself his spirit and his breath, all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again to dust” (Job 34:14-15 MKJV).

Drek the Uninteresting writes on his blog in response to a letter from Paul:

As a blogger who has been around for over three years, I have run into some pretty interesting people. From time to time these interesting people send me e-mail. More often than not I reply via e-mail but, every so often, I feel the need to make a reply slightly more public. This is one of those times.*

I recently received the following e-mail- apparently in response to a post I wrote about two years ago.** I reproduce the entirety of the message below (in green), with any identifying elements removed:

Hi Drek,

I ran into your site and disregarded your warning to not linger there. I red a portion of a post from 2005 on evolution. I once wrote the following to a man who was proposing something similar to what you do about the second law of thermodynamics and evolution (taken from Theories of Evolution: The Vain Imaginations of Fools):

‘It is common knowledge among scientists, including ones espousing evolution, that there are no known violations of the second law of thermodynamics, whether in open or closed systems. Honest scientists admit that the organized complexity of biological organisms requires two additional factors besides an open system (sun providing energy). These are: a “program” (information) to direct the growth in organized complexity and a mechanism for storing and converting the incoming energy to maintain life. Evolution has no answer or explanation for the presence of either, the development of which contravenes the second law of thermodynamics.

The formation of ice crystals from water does not answer this conundrum. Snowflakes simply represent water’s movement towards equilibrium at a lower energy level. They are not an example of matter forming itself into more organized or complex systems, but are the result of the intrinsic nature of the constituent elements forming repeating structures with minimal complexity and no function.

Nobel Prize winner, Ilya Prigogine, puts it this way:

‘The point is that in a non-isolated [open] system there exists a possibility for formation of ordered, low-entropy structures at sufficiently low temperatures. This ordering principle is responsible for the appearance of ordered structures such as crystals as well as for the phenomena of phase transitions. Unfortunately [for evolutionists] this principle cannot explain the formation of biological structures.”

So, this e-mail is quite clearly an attempt to change my ways- to drive me away from godlessness and an acceptance of evolution. No doubt it is thought that if I were to abandon evolution I would have no choice but to believe it god. Woo-hoo false dichotomy! In any case, these sorts of e-mails are nothing new for me as I am the subject of such attempts every now and then. Most of them are not as fun as this one, however, and so I decided I wanted to reply at length. Please consider this open letter to be that response.

Dear Mr. Correspondent,

First and foremost allow me to thank you for your e-mail and your concern for my well-being. I know that you are corresponding with me because you believe that I am living my life poorly and, as such, am in need of your guidance.
It is of no consequence that my view of your choices is not dissimilar- your concern speaks well of you.

I am afraid, however, that I find your argument rather unconvincing. Specifically, your argument breaks down into three related assertions. First, that “evolution” cannot explain the origins of “information.” Second, that “evolution” cannot explain how organisms harness available energy to support life. Third, and finally, that the second law of thermodynamics prohibits evolution. This final point you support using a quote from Nobel Laureate Ilya Prigogine.

Taking your first point, it is incorrect that evolutionary theory cannot account for “information.” Even if we leave aside the considerable semantic difficulties of defining “information,”- and William Dembski’s ridiculous “specified complexity” notion is not helpful*** here- basic physical processes are known to produce outcomes that encode considerable volumes of information. At a higher level, there are a number of avenues through which “information” can be added to a given organism- such as the well-known phenomenon of gene duplication. In this case, an error in DNA replication double-copies a section of the genome- one copy is expressed, the other is not. The unexpressed copy, however, is now available as extra material for random mutation and selection to operate on. Regardless, “information” has been added.

Doubtless at this point you would object that what you really mean is that evolution cannot account for how DNA emerged in the first place. This is, at best, a tenuous argument as the existence of self-replicating organic molecules is well-established. DNA is simply an elaboration upon that basic theme and may have been preceded by the even simpler RNA, thus giving us an extant evolutionary precursor. While it is true that we have no direct evidence, at the moment, of how DNA evolved, considerable research is being done in this area. For example, “Temporal order of evolution of DNA replication systems inferred by comparison of cellular and viral DNA polymerases,” (2006) by Eugene V. Koonin; “The role of virus in the origin of DNA genome and early cellular evolution,” (2006) by Patrick Forterre and “DNA sequence evolution and phylogenetic footprinting,” (2004) by E.T. Dermitzakis & A. Reymond, to name a few.

Secondly, your assertion that evolution cannot account for the harnessing of energy to support life is simply ignorant. What you describe falls under the headings of photosynthesis and digestion. Do you seriously mean to imply that we do not understand how animals derive energy from the matter they consume, or that the ability of plants to manufacture food using sunlight is a mystery? Not only are both processes well-understood, there is a considerable literature dealing with their evolution. For example, “Exploring photosynthesis evolution by comparative analysis of metabolic networks between chloroplasts and photosynthetic bacteria,” (2006) by Wang et al.; “Evolution of glutamine synthetase in heterokonts: Evidence for endosymbiotic gene transfer and the early evolution of photosynthesis,” (2006) by Robertson & Tartar; and “The structure of photosystem I and evolution of photosynthesis,” (2005) by Nelson & Ben-Shem, all deal with the evolution of photosynthesis. For digestion we have, “Diet and the evolution of digestion and renal function in phyllostomid bats,” (2001) by Schondube et al.; “The termite gut habitat: Its evolution and co-evolution,” (2006) by Paul Eggleton, and “Evolution of gastrulation in the actinopterygian (ray-finned) fishes,” (2005) by Cooper & Virta. In short, your examples of problems that evolution cannot answer demonstrate only that you are not familiar in the least with the state of modern biology. It goes without saying that not being a biologist is not sufficient excuse for your lack of knowledge- I am not a biologist and, nevertheless, was able to locate these and other papers in less than fifteen minutes.

Finally, we come to your mistaken claim that the second law of thermodynamics prohibits evolution. I will not produce an argument contradicting you here- both because it is obviously untrue for the simple reason that your interpretation would prevent all life as we know it and because others have already done a far more competent job than I could. I would, however, like to take issue with your use of Dr. Prigogine’s words. The quote comes from: I. Prigogine, G. Nicolis and A. Babloyants, Physics Today 25(11):23 (1972).

The one-sentence summary beginning the article reads:
The functional order maintained within living systems seems to defy the Second Law; nonequilibrium thermodynamics describes how such systems come to terms with entropy.

So, in other words, the article appears to be explaining how entropy is consistent with biological systems and evolution, rather than at odds with it. Curious, given the apparent content of the quote. Apparent, however, is the crucial word. Let’s look at the entire quote:

Unfortunately this principle cannot explain the formation of biological structures. The probability that at ordinary temperatures a macroscopic number of molecules is assembled to give rise to the highly ordered structures and to the coordinated functions characterizing living organisms is vanishingly small. The idea of spontaneous genesis of life in its present form is therefore highly improbable, even on the scale of the billions of years during which prebiotic evolution occurred.

The conclusion to be drawn from this analysis is that the apparent contradiction between biological order and the laws of physics–in particular the second law of thermodynamics–cannot be resolved as long as we try to understand living systems by the methods of the familiar equilibrium statistical mechanics and equally familar thermodynamics.

And further along in the paper:

What is the thermodynamic meaning of prebiological evolution? Darwin’s principle of “survival of the fittest” through natural selection can only apply once pre biological evolution has led to the formation of some primitive living beings. A new evolutionary principle, proposed recently by Manfred Eigen, would replace Darwin’s idea in the context of prebiotic evolution. It amounts to optimizing a quantity measuring the faithfulness, or quality, of the macromolecules in reproducing themselves via template action. We here propose an alternative description of prebiological evolution. The main idea is the possibility that a prebiological system may evolve through a whole succession of transitions leading to a hierarchy of more and more complex and organized states. Such transitions can only arise in nonlinear systems that are maintained far from equilibrium; that is, beyond a certain critical threshold the steady-state regime becomes unstable and the system evolves to a new configuration. As a result, if the system is to be able to evolve through successive instabilities, a mechanism must be developed whereby each new transition favors further evolution by increasing the nonlinearity and the distance from equilibrium. One obvious mechanism is that each transition enables the system to increase the entropy production.

In other words, biological evolution is fully consistent with entropy so long as we understand that biological systems do not represent equilibrium systems. Specifically, living organisms can achieve temporary local decreases in entropy at the expense of a greater increase in global entropy. This is precisely what I argued in my earlier post and, in fact, is almost exactly contrary to your intended point. I am afraid, Mr. Correspondent, that the paper you are quoting is supportive of evolution rather than a challenge. I wish, of course, that I could take credit for debunking your little bit of quote mining but it is all the work of Mr. Chris Ho-Stuart over at talk.origins. In fact, Dr. Prigogine confirmed**** that Ho-Stuart’s interpretation is entirely correct, casting rather a bit of doubt on your efforts to use his work to denigrate evolutionary theory.

In your e-mail to me, Mr. Correspondent, you referred to what “honest scientists” admit. I am forced to wonder if you have sufficient honesty not only to admit that you attempted to twist another man’s words to your own purposes, but to cease doing so in the future. Somehow, I rather doubt it. Moreover, I strongly suspect that this sort of behavior accomplishes little except to embarrass your co-religionists. If you wish to continue attempting to convert me then, by all means, proceed but cease the lies and deception. I have little patience for it and it reflects rather poorly on you and your faith.

Best,
Drek the Uninteresting

http://totaldrek.blogspot.com/2007/07/honesty.html

* I debated for some time the ethics of posting something that was, originally, private correspondence. I ultimately decided to go ahead for two reasons. First, I removed all identifying comments so that the privacy of my correspondent is protected. Second, the bulk of the message was, apparently, taken from an existing public posting. As such, I am not exposing something private to public scrutiny- it was already there. All that said, if I have offended my correspondent, I do apologize.

** It’s good to know that my work has a long shelf-life I guess. To be honest, however, my correspondent didn’t identify which post he is reacting to, so this is just my best guess.

*** I rather doubt that it is helpful anywhere, actually, given how solidly it has been thrashed in the scientific and mathematical literatures. See, for example, “Unintelligent Design” by Mark Perakh for a start.

**** As a side note, I rather expect that his 1977 book “Self-Organization in Non-Equilibrium Systems: From Dissipative Structures to Order Through Fluctuations,” has rather a lot to say about entropy and evolution, and none of it will prove to be problematic for evolutionary theory.

Drek

Paul’s reply:

Drek, I am thankful you took the time to reply to my letter, and, furthermore, that you were willing to share this with your readers. I hope you will do the same with this reply, only please include my name and website this time.

What needs to be determined is whether the vantage point from which you speak takes in the whole picture and gives an accurate rendering of what is happening, or whether it is narrowly focused, as with the anthropologists who hypothesized an “evolutionary missing link” of humankind based on a pig’s tooth. Let’s see what we have here.

You assume you know why I corresponded with you. However, not being omniscient or spiritually-minded, you assume wrongly. I did not write to you to convince you to abandon evolution so that you might believe in God. Things do not work that way. There are plenty of creationists who do not believe in God (despite what they say or think).

Belief in God is not mere human calculation or reckoning of information. It is not taking someone else’s word for it or being convinced by an argument. It is a supernatural change of direction of the entire being that looks to, and takes direction from, the Creator.

It is the working out of the first commandment that says:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).

When this occurs, the human mind does not determine, but follows, faith. It does not embrace faith so much as faith embraces it.

The change you need is firstly one of heart and soul, which will come in its time by the preaching of the Word of God. The Word of God, contrary to what many think, particularly the religious, is not simply the Bible. It is the living Spirit of God made manifest in the flesh. Having His Spirit, it is my duty and desire to speak the Word of Truth.

God, in His perfect wisdom, has made you as you are, and it is He Who owns you. You are not your own, and you cannot determine your destiny. If He wills that you labor in foolishness for the time being, not knowing what you say or do, that is His judgment, and I receive it as the highest possible wisdom. I am thankful for your position and have no need or desire to strive to change it, because it serves a mighty and wonderful purpose. How can anything be seen and known without the disparity of opposites, Light and darkness?

“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and God has chosen the base things of the world, and things which are despised, and things which are not, in order to bring to nothing things that are; so that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29 MKJV).

“The wisdom of this world is nonsense in God’s sight. That’s why Scripture says, ‘God catches the wise in their cleverness.’ Again Scripture says, ‘The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are pointless’” (1 Corinthians 3:19-20 GW).

When you do change, it will not be a matter of your wisdom effecting that change, because you “accepted” God by virtue of your intellect judging His (see The False and Misleading Gospel of “Accepting” Jesus Christ). You do not have that power. When change comes, it will be by His initiation, beginning here with the Word spoken to you. It will be a change of recognition of His total worthiness and your total unworthiness. You will confess your name, no longer tongue in cheek, but with earnest and thankful recognition that “drek” is indeed what you have been and what you are.

When repentance comes, you will be turned to a new and higher nature that trumps, not replaces, human intelligence. Presently you no more know His mind and ways than a dog understands your writings, and far less. To come to this understanding in God is something that happens entirely outside of your control, by His grace, when He will give you to see and receive Him in the Person of Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior. That will happen when you are humbled to be as a little child in spirit:

“At that time Jesus made answer and said, I give praise to You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have kept these things secret from the wise and the men of learning, and have made them clear to little children” (Matthew 11:25 BBE).

Pointing out the foolishness of evolution will not make you a lover of God. If possible, and it is, it will make you resent Him more. However, I also know that the Word of Truth that I speak will accomplish all that He desires. All foolish, arrogant mouths, including yours, will, in due time, be shut, that everyone might learn to reverence God and worship Him in spirit and in truth.

You begin your critique by dividing my statements into three parts. This is another presumption you make, which is wonderfully representative of the problem of evolutionists; they divide what is not divisible. It is not possible, in truth, to talk about disparate parts of creation as though they are functioning in isolation. Life does not work in the way you dissect and analyze it (or as others have done for you). You have taken true elements of creation and have created a fantasy world out of its parts. This fantasy leads to nightmare, because man, disconnected from the wisdom of the whole, is a loose cannon, coming up with insane ideas like GMOs, then congratulating himself on his cleverness while he destroys his environment and himself.

No doubt you will say that I work backwards from an assumption, but the difference between us is that I know the Creator, and I base what I say on His Personal Word to me. So I work forwards, if I work at all. It is not necessary for me to prove creation. Creation proves itself.

You write:

Taking your first point, it is incorrect that evolutionary theory cannot account for ‘information.’…basic physical processes are known to produce outcomes that encode considerable volumes of information.

You didn’t get this right. I said “program,” which is composed of, but is more than, bits and pieces of information. Life is more than the sum of its physical components. For example, more alphabetic characters are needed to complete this reply, but only those arranged in recognizable and meaningful patterns will serve the purpose. That is what I, as writer, provide. No writer, no reply. No Creator, no life; for life requires the intelligent and purposeful arranging of raw materials that provide the means and information to accomplish every task that is part of, and supports, the greater system or whole. Saying chance accomplished this is the greatest of folly and insult to intelligence.

Hardware, without software, does squat. You must have both. There is One Who has done all the purposing and arranging from far beyond what we can sense with our eyes and ears. This is not news to anyone; I state the obvious. This is not something that must be figured out or which requires a PhD to understand. It is actually known by all, though many have chosen the delusional path of knowledge outside of true godliness:

Romans 1:18-23 WNT
(18) For God’s anger is being revealed from Heaven against all impiety and against the iniquity of men who through iniquity suppress the truth. God is angry:
(19) because what may be known about Him is plain to their inmost consciousness; for He Himself has made it plain to them.
(20) For, from the very creation of the world, His invisible perfections–namely His eternal power and divine nature–have been rendered intelligible and clearly visible by His works, so that these men are without excuse.
(21) For when they had come to know God, they did not give Him glory as God nor render Him thanks, but they became absorbed in useless discussions, and their senseless minds were darkened.
(22) While boasting of their wisdom they became utter fools,
(23) and, instead of worshipping the imperishable God, they worshipped images resembling perishable man or resembling birds or beasts or reptiles.

How can you argue with that? Of course you will because that is the way of those who prefer, and are given over to, useless discussions. The rest of your letter is a good example of that.

For example, you write:

Secondly, your assertion that evolution cannot account for the harnessing of energy to support life is simply ignorant. What you describe falls under the headings of photosynthesis and digestion. Do you seriously mean to imply that we do not understand how animals derive energy from the matter they consume, or that the ability of plants to manufacture food using sunlight is a mystery?

I never said that photosynthesis and other processes were mysteries. So how could I be implying that we do not understand these things? We are well aware of them, except that men’s understanding is not nearly as deep as they think. (Can you reproduce these processes in working models? Can you even make one cell? Take the smallest or any particle of existence and make a genuine copy. While you have something to copy, still you are at an utter loss, yet God created it all in wisdom, knowing what He was – and is – doing. So how is it you presume to know so much about life? Isn’t that ignorance?) What I said had nothing to do with the straw man you just set up and knocked down.

What I did say was that there is no viable mechanism to explain the evolution of these processes, which cannot be isolated from the two other elements I mentioned, a program and an open system. Neither can these two things be taken for granted. Where does the matter and energy come from? You have no answer, only mythologies to cover your lack of one, which you clothe in scientific jargon with a multitude of words to obfuscate the fact. Now that is ignorance, and of the highest order, because it denies the Highest Order. Furthermore, it is arrogance, because speaking as though you know when you don’t.

As for your implication that I was not honest in quoting Dr. Prigogine’s words, you remain consistent in making wrong assumptions and proceeding to wrong conclusions. Whether or not Ilya believes in evolution is not pertinent to the words he spoke. I did not say he was a believer in God or that he acknowledged His creation of life as recorded in the Bible. I did not twist his words, as you accuse, but agreed with their plain meaning. If the author wants to hypothesize beyond that meaning, to justify his belief in evolution, that does not change the truth of what he said. We are in apparent agreement that the formation of ice crystals does not explain the formation of biological structures. That is all I said. I cannot help it if he is right in his statement of documented fact but wrong in undocumented and unproven speculation beyond that. The theories presented to explain away the plain meaning and implications of his statement do nothing to change its validity.

My claim that the second law of thermodynamics does not allow for evolution is in no way consistent with your conclusion that such a position is tantamount to preventing all life from existing. It is precisely your theories that do that, because you deny and discard the Creator, by Whose grace we were made. You do not acknowledge the Power Who, because He created and sustains it, transcends the physical realm you think to comprehend. That Power is the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is God, the Holy Spirit Who breathes life into us all. You know nothing of Him or the spiritual realm. How can you, then, comprehend His creation?

“Through faith we understand that the worlds came into being, and still exist, at the command of God, so that what is seen does not owe its existence to that which is visible” (Hebrews 11:3 WNT).

The Bible, written by men of God and sealed in many cases with the earnestness of their blood (unlike your careless case), long foretold the inevitable outcome of entropy, which we see and experience all around us, even now with the breakdown of life systems and planet Earth in exponential overdrive:

“Before time You founded the earth, and the Heavens are the work of Your hands. They shall perish, but You shall endure; yea, all of them shall wear out like a garment; You shall change them like clothing, and they shall be changed. But You are the same, and Your years shall not be ended” (Psalms 102:25-27 LITV).

So what is holding things together? From where does the power of life come?

“If He made His Spirit come back to Him, taking His breath into Himself again, All flesh would come to an end together, and man would go back to the dust” (Job 34:14-15 BBE).

The second law of thermodynamics is not greater than God. It is part of the inexorable process of decay that was initiated with sin. But God is above sin; He is Life. He is not subject to thermodynamics. He is the Reason that we and everything else are here, and not only here, but able to do, and doing, whatever it is each of us is engaged in at this precise moment. There is no other explanation.

God proved that He was greater than the physical world in His coming in the flesh as Jesus Christ. As a man, subject to the same laws that we are, Jesus did miracles transcending those laws, turning water into wine, multiplying food, walking on water, and raising the dead. Finally, He raised His own body from the dead after three days and three nights in the grave. These are all physical impossibilities by the known and observed laws of physics and nature, just as is creation itself. How is this explained then? It is explained by, and in, Jesus Christ:

“Who being the shining splendor of His glory, and the express image of His essence, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, having made purification of our sins through Himself, He sat down on the right of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:2-3 LITV).

The power that upholds all living things and the universe itself that contains them is the power by which Jesus Christ raised Himself from the dead. They are one and the same power. You are here, as is everyone and everything else, by virtue of the resurrection power of Jesus Christ, Who is God. Your very life depends on Him, even as you deny Him and seek out witty inventions to do so. He owns you:

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, because by Him all things were created, those in the heavens and those on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things are held together” (Colossians 1:15-17 EMTV).

He proved this by the resurrection from the dead:

“Who was declared Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:4 EMTV).

This is no theory or hypothesis but was a documented event that had many eyewitnesses who were willing to, and did, shed their own blood for the honor of being identified with the Lord Jesus Christ, Who was with them as they testified of His sacrifice and forgiveness of sins, in love, truth, and power. Are you willing and able to do the same for your theories? Will your theories do that for you? Of what value are they, then?

Paul

Drek’s reply in his blog:

Regular readers of this blog may remember a little while back when I received an e-mail from a gentlemen who was attempting to convince me that life comes from god. As you can no doubt guess, if you didn’t read the post on the subject, I found his arguments rather unimpressive and said as much. What you may not know is that, having responded to his argument, I sent my correspondent an e-mail directing him to my response. It seemed only appropriate under the circumstances.

Well, interestingly enough, my correspondent, a Mr. Paul Cohen of The Path of Truth.com, not only granted me permission to post his identity, he requested that I post his response to my commentary. I’m always willing to publish responses from those I criticize and this is no exception. So, for your reading enjoyment, please welcome Mr. Cohen and his thoughts (in green) on my post. My own response to Mr. Cohen is also included below interspersed with his rather lengthy e-mail so as to enhance readability.

Drek, I am thankful you took the time to reply to my letter, and, furthermore, that you were willing to share this with your readers. I hope you will do the same with this reply, only please include my name and website this time.

I was pleased to do so and am happy to publish your identity. I would have done so before, but did not think it appropriate to do so without permission.

What needs to be determined is whether the vantage point from which you speak takes in the whole picture and gives an accurate rendering of what is happening, or whether it is narrowly focused, as with the anthropologists who hypothesized an ‘evolutionary missing link’ of humankind based on a pig’s tooth. Let’s see what we have here.

You, of course, refer to “Nebraska man,” a supposed pre-human primate that was “discovered” in 1922. The original discovery was found to be erroneous in 1925 and a retraction was published in Science in 1927. A five year span from “discovery” to the correction of error isn’t too bad, so I would say Nebraska Man is an example of the scientific process working as it should. Nevertheless, let’s see if you can show my Nebraska to be, in fact, a swine.

You assume you know why I corresponded with you. However, not being omniscient or spiritually-minded, you assume wrongly. I did not write to you to convince you to abandon evolution so that you might believe in God. Things do not work that way. There are plenty of creationists who do not believe in God (despite what they say or think). There are also those who do believe, withholding judgment and exploring (or not) the matter.

You are absolutely correct- I assumed that you were attempting to convert me. That you are not is rather surprising to me, as I have a difficult time then understanding what the point of your correspondence is, but that is irrelevant. I apologize for my evidently incorrect supposition.

Belief in God is not mere human calculation or reckoning of information. It is not taking someone else’s word for it or being convinced by an argument. It is a supernatural change of direction of the entire being that looks to, and takes direction from, the Creator. It is the working out of the first commandment that says, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind’ (Matthew 22:37). When this occurs, the human mind does not determine, but follows, faith. It does not embrace faith so much as faith embraces it.

If you’re saying that religious belief is irrational, I’m not exactly inclined to disagree with you.

The change you need is firstly one of heart and soul, which will come in its time by the preaching of the Word of God. The Word of God, contrary to what many think, particularly the religious, is not simply the Bible. It is the living Spirit of God made manifest in the flesh. Having His Spirit, it is my duty and desire to speak the Word of Truth.

But, if preaching the word of god will lead me to the change I “need”… how is that different from attempting to convert me?

God, in His perfect wisdom, has made you as you are, and it is He Who owns you. You are not your own, and you cannot determine your destiny. If He wills that you labor in foolishness for the time being, not knowing what you say or do, that is His judgment, and I receive it as the highest possible wisdom. I am thankful for your position and have no need or desire whatsoever to strive to change it, because it serves a mighty and wonderful purpose. How can anything be seen and known without the disparity of opposites, Light and darkness?

I find this perspective to be rather interesting, actually. It seems to me that were there to be an omniscient, omnipotent deity then we would, indeed, do nothing save what he/she/it desired us to do. This is either due to direct action on god’s part or because, in creating the universe, god designed things in such a way so as to produce the current outcome. Either way, our lives would necessarily be the result of god’s dictates. Perhaps more interestingly, however, such a perspective, while logically consistent, throws the concept of “sin” into question. If one dies a sinner then, logically, it was because god willed one to sin. Is it then logical for god to punish that which he intended to happen? Obviously not. Logically, then, a universe with an omnipotent, omniscient creator god is one in which either there is no sin, or god punishes sins that his creations had no choice about committing. If god is perfect and merciful, as is often claimed, then the latter option would appear to be untenable, leaving us with the conclusion that sin is impossible. Then again, as you claim, religion is not necessarily logical so I suppose there may be some highly irrational third option and, in any case, amateur philosophizing will get us nowhere.

‘But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and God has chosen the base things of the world, and things which are despised, and things which are not, in order to bring to nothing things that are; so that no flesh should glory in His presence’ (1 Corinthians 1:27-29 MKJV).

‘The wisdom of this world is nonsense in God’s sight. That’s why Scripture says, ‘God catches the wise in their cleverness.’ Again Scripture says, ‘The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are pointless” (1 Corinthians 3:19-20 GW).

Sadly, judging by their midterm performance, a number of my students agree that the thoughts of the wise are pointless.

When you do change, it will not be a matter of your wisdom effecting that change, because you ‘accepted’ God by virtue of your intellect judging His (See The False and Misleading Gospel of ‘Accepting’ Jesus Christ). You do not have that power. When change comes, it will be by His initiation, beginning here with the Word spoken to you, and it will be a change of recognition of His total worthiness and your total unworthiness. You will confess your name, no longer tongue in cheek, but with earnest and thankful recognition that ‘drek’ is indeed what you have been and what you are.

What makes you think my name is tongue in cheek? I have as little respect for my own opinions as I have for most others’. I tend to think that it’s wise to maintain a healthy disrespect for your own views lest you become too bound by them. I doubt I always succeed in that but, hey, it’s worth trying. In all fairness, however, this is hardly the first time I have been exposed to “god’s word.”

When repentance comes, you will be turned to a new and higher nature that trumps, not replaces, human intelligence. Presently you no more know His mind and ways than a dog understands your writings, and far less. To come to this understanding in God is something that happens entirely outside of your control, by His grace, when He will give you to see and receive Him in the Person of Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior. That will happen when you are humbled to be as a little child in spirit:

‘At that time Jesus made answer and said, I give praise to You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have kept these things secret from the wise and the men of learning, and have made them clear to little children’ (Matthew 11:25 BBE).

It always makes me nervous when people glorify the wisdom of a group that has to be taught not to eat paste. This is not to insult children, but rather simply to observe that the simple views of children are as often charmingly wrong as they are deeply profound.

Pointing out the foolishness of evolution will not make you a lover of God. If possible, and it is, it will make you resent Him more. However, I also know that the Word of Truth that I speak will accomplish all that He desires. All foolish, arrogant mouths, including yours, will, in due time, be shut, that everyone might learn to reverence God and worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Fair enough. My response to your earlier e-mail was somewhat condescending, so I deserved that. In all seriousness, however, I think it neither foolish nor arrogant to suppose that humans are capable of understanding the world we live in. I’ll admit that is a faith position, but it is one that I am comfortable with, and if we are both men of faith, then I suppose that I have faith that humans can while you have faith that humans cannot.

You begin your critique by dividing my statements into three parts. This is another presumption you make, which is wonderfully representative of the problem of evolutionists; they divide what is not divisible. It is not possible, in truth, to talk about disparate parts of creation as though they are functioning in isolation. Life does not work in the way you dissect and analyze it (or as others have done for you). You have taken true elements of creation and have created a fantasy world out of its parts. This fantasy leads to nightmare, because man, disconnected from the wisdom of the whole, is a loose cannon, coming up with insane ideas like GMOs, then congratulating himself on his cleverness while he destroys his environment and himself.

I find your criticism here to be rather odd since, from this point forward, you employ the same tactic on my response. It’s really a feature of the English language, if nothing else, as well as rhetoric that arguments be analyzed piece-by-piece. On a related note, modern science has done a fantastic job of showing how everything is interrelated. The deep interactions between chemistry, physics, biology, psychology, sociology, and ecology are increasingly well-known. That we analytically focus on limited domains is, if nothing else, a simple result of our finite ability to learn about multiple fields. It does not mean that scientists genuinely do not think that one branch of science has anything to do with another.

No doubt you will say that I work backwards from an assumption, but the difference between us is that I know the Creator, and I base what I say on His Personal Word to me. So I work forwards, if I work at all. It is not necessary for me to prove creation. Creation proves itself.

A perfectly reasonable assertion if one believes in god. I think it rather obvious that creation does not prove itself, however, as quite a few people do not believe in it.

You write:

Taking your first point, it is incorrect that evolutionary theory cannot account for “information.”…basic physical processes are known to produce outcomes that encode considerable volumes of information.

You didn’t get this right. I said ‘program,’ which is composed of, but is more than, bits and pieces of information. Life is more than the sum of its physical components. For example, more alphabetic characters are needed to complete this reply, but only those arranged in recognizable and meaningful patterns will serve the purpose. That is what I, as writer, provide. No writer, no reply. No Creator, no life; for life requires the intelligent and purposeful arranging of raw materials that provide the means and information to accomplish every task that is part of, and supports, the greater system or whole. Saying chance accomplished this is the greatest of folly and insult to intelligence.

Actually, the meaningful arrangement of letters constitutes information, not a program. That said, it is only information in the proper context (e.g. Chinese characters carry no information for me, someone who does not read Chinese), but I digress. I apologize if I reduced your argument to too fundamental a level. If you insist on using the word “program” then nothing changes- in computer science self-modifying code is commonplace and so-called “genetic programming” harnesses the power of variation and selection to produce software solutions to difficult problems. In essence, this means that we humans have already produced software that effectively has no author- it writes itself. That we specify the end state that it optimizes towards is irrelevant- authorless programs are not only possible, they exist. Doubtless you will object that this does not account for the emergence of self-modifying “code” in natural organisms but this falls under the category of “abiogenesis,” rather than evolution. Abiogenesis is not a necessary condition for evolution as both theistic evolutionists and advocates of panspermia would agree. Nevertheless, as I indicated in my last post, the evolution of DNA is an ongoing area in biology. I see little reason to believe that we will not develop an understanding of this issue in time.

Hardware, without software, does squat. You must have both.

Actually, we have a term for hardware without obvious software that still performs computations: “clockwork.” Specifically, clockwork has no “software” distinct from the hardware- the two are one and the same. As it happens, this is a much more accurate model for the way that the human brain operates with the exception that, unlike traditional clockwork, the human brain is quite adaptable. Again, however, I digress. My point is that in a universe with consistent physical laws- such as our own universe- physical objects often behave in predictable, consistent ways. The hardware, in essence, “does” something despite the lack of internal direction by “software.” Whether you want to regard those physical laws as constituting “software” is up to you, but I personally think that does violence to the concept.

There is One Who has done all the purposing and arranging from far beyond what we can sense with our eyes and ears. This is not news to anyone; I state the obvious. This is not something that must be figured out or which requires a PhD to understand. It is actually known by all, though many have chosen the delusional path of knowledge outside of true godliness:

Given how much energy is devoted both to religious education, and to arguing with those like myself, I don’t think even you believe your above points.

Romans 1:18-23 WNT

(18) For God’s anger is being revealed from Heaven against all impiety and against the iniquity of men who through iniquity suppress the truth. God is angry:
(19) because what may be known about Him is plain to their inmost consciousness; for He Himself has made it plain to them.
(20) For, from the very creation of the world, His invisible perfections–namely His eternal power and divine nature–have been rendered intelligible and clearly visible by His works, so that these men are without excuse.
(21) For when they had come to know God, they did not give Him glory as God nor render Him thanks, but they became absorbed in useless discussions, and their senseless minds were darkened.
(22) While boasting of their wisdom they became utter fools,
(23) and, instead of worshipping the imperishable God, they worshipped images resembling perishable man or resembling birds or beasts or reptiles.

How can you argue with that? Of course you will because that is the way of those who prefer, and are given over to, useless discussions. The rest of your letter is a good example of that.

I have no intention of arguing with that- if you believe that anyone who disagrees with you is simply closing their eyes to the obvious truth, and must really know the facts, what possible argument could sway you? You are entitled to your religious beliefs, Mr. Cohen, and I respect that.

For example, you write:

Secondly, your assertion that evolution cannot account for the harnessing of energy to support life is simply ignorant. What you describe falls under the headings of photosynthesis and digestion. Do you seriously mean to imply that we do not understand how animals derive energy from the matter they consume, or that the ability of plants to manufacture food using sunlight is a mystery?

I never said that photosynthesis and other processes were mysteries. So how could I be implying that we do not understand these things? We are well aware of them, except that men’s understanding is not nearly as deep as they think. (Can you reproduce these processes in working models? Can you even make one cell? Take the smallest or any particle of existence and make a genuine copy. While you have something to copy, still you are at an utter loss, yet He created it all in wisdom, knowing what He was – and is – doing. So how is it you presume to know so much about life? Isn’t that ignorance?) What I said had nothing to do with the straw man you just set up and knocked down.

Well, what you originally said was: “Evolution has no answer or explanation for the presence of either [a program and the ability of organisms to store and convert incoming energy to sustain life], the development of which contravenes the second law of thermodynamics.” You’re right, you never actually said we didn’t understand digestion, so I apologize for that misinterpretation. I was most likely misled by your assertion that they are both made impossible by thermodynamics, though I suppose it is unclear from the sentence whether you mean that those two things are impossible, or rather only that their evolution is impossible. Either way not only do we understand both processes, as you concede, but I presented a small sampling of the available research on the evolution of both systems. Simply put: I presented just a small piece of the answer and explanation that researchers have uncovered. It is, therefore, inaccurate to say that “evolution” has no answer. You may not like the answer, but it is an answer all the same. As for your contention about “duplicating” cells- I rather doubt that you are capable of duplicating the computer you are presently working on. You have, after all, a working example; what’s so difficult about duplicating an integrated circuit? Does your present inability to duplicate your computer mean that the capability to do so is forever beyond your grasp? Of course not- it simply means you are presently incapable of it. There was a time when a human technician would have been unable to duplicate a steel axle, even given a lifetime to study it. Today, duplicating a steel axle is fully within our abilities. Similarly, we learn more every day about the biological sciences- what we are unable to do now, we may not be unable to do forever. Given advances in biotechnology and even research into artificial photosynthesis it seems likely that all that is necessary for your requested copies is patience.

What I did say was that there is no viable mechanism to explain the evolution of these processes, which cannot be isolated from the two other elements I mentioned, a program and an open system. Neither can these two things be taken for granted. Where does the matter and energy come from? You have no answer, only mythologies to cover your lack of one, which you clothe in scientific jargon with a multitude of words to obfuscate the fact. Now that is ignorance, and of the highest order, because it denies the Highest Order. Furthermore, it is arrogance, because speaking as though you know when you don’t.

I don’t see what your point is about isolating evolution from either thermodynamics or the “program.” The evolution of DNA (i.e. the “program”) is an area of study, as I indicated in my last post. Likewise, thermodynamic processes are taken into account in the study of photosynthesis and organic chemistry. Finally, open systems are not taken for granted but, given the long-term presence of the sun, are known to have existed for a long, long time. Do I propose to know where matter and energy come from? No, I will not claim to know either at the fundamental level you wish me to answer at. At the same time, I am comfortable admitting that I don’t know. Do you know where “god” comes from? If he/she/it can be eternal by your fiat, why then cannot physical processes?

As for your implication that I was not honest in quoting Dr. Prigogine’s words, you remain consistent in making wrong assumptions and proceeding to wrong conclusions.

Respectfully, I did not imply that you were dishonest in your quoting of Dr. Prigogine- I said so outright. I continue to say so- your use of the quote is misleading and dishonest.

Whether or not Ilya believes in evolution is not pertinent to the words he spoke. I did not say he was a believer in God or that he acknowledged His creation of life as recorded in the Bible. I did not twist his words, as you accuse, but agreed with their plain meaning. If the author wants to hypothesize beyond that meaning, to justify his belief in evolution, that does not change the truth of what he said.

Mr. Cohen, you are not agreeing with Dr. Prigogine’s plain meaning. You employed the quote as part of an argument that evolution is inconsistent with thermodynamics. The article you quoted from was arguing precisely the opposite point. Your actions are colloquially referred to as “quote mining” and I have discussed the practice at length elsewhere. If I might illustrate the problem a bit more vividly, your colleague Victor Hafichuk in his treatise on evolution remarks, “He [a critic of creationism] speaks of ‘anxiety’ among religious people, and that their sad condition leads to reactions contrary to those things they find a threat. He is right.” Were I to quote merely that section of Mr. Hafichuk’s work, it would appear that he agrees whole-heartedly with the critic of creationism. I might use this quote to “show” to others that even creationists acknowledge that their faith brings them no joy, and that they strike out at others because of fear. However, your colleague follows his statement with: “But I know in Whom I have believed, and know that He will keep me regardless of the darkness and foolishness of this world. So it is with all those who have not dead religion, but true, living faith.” These additional passages are key to understanding Mr. Hafichuk’s argument and honesty requires that they be included. Likewise, in order to understand Dr. Prigogine’s work you must present the full quote, not simply those sections that appear to agree with your own perspective.

We are in apparent agreement that the formation of ice crystals does not explain the formation of biological structures.

Correct: it simply explains the existence of ice crystals.

That is all I said. I cannot help it if he is right in his statement of documented fact but wrong in undocumented and unproven speculation beyond that. The theories presented to explain away the plain meaning and implications of his statement do nothing to change its validity.

The man received a nobel prize for producing considerable empirical support for his theories. There is no question in the scientific community that evolution is fully consistent with thermodynamics. You are simply cherry picking those portions of his statements that seem to agree with you.

My claim that the second law of thermodynamics does not allow for evolution is in no way consistent with your conclusion that such a position is tantamount to preventing all life from existing. It is precisely your theories that do that, because you deny and discard the Creator, by Whose grace we were made and do exist. You do not acknowledge the Power Who, because He created and sustains it, transcends the physical realm you think to comprehend. That Power is the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is God, the Holy Spirit. You know nothing of Him or the spiritual realm. How can you, then, comprehend His creation?

An interesting argument. Are you suggesting that god sustains all life moment-to-moment? In any case, there is nothing in thermodynamics that makes life impossible- it is only your incorrect interpretation of the theory that would have that result.

‘Through faith we understand that the worlds came into being, and still exist, at the command of God, so that what is seen does not owe its existence to that which is visible’ (Hebrews 11:3 WNT).

The Bible, written by men of God and sealed in many cases with the earnestness of their blood (unlike your careless case), long foretold the inevitable outcome of entropy, which we see and experience all around us, even now with the breakdown of life systems and planet Earth in exponential overdrive:

So the bible was written by men, not by god? Just checking. I think it inaccurate, by the way, to suggest that men and women have not died for science- they have and continue to do so. I could say that this is because they believe the learning is worth the price but, as likely as not, it’s frequently just because scientists are too curious not to poke puzzles with a stick. Every cause has its martyrs, Mr. Cohen, including human learning.

‘Before time You founded the earth, and the Heavens are the work of Your hands. They shall perish, but You shall endure; yea, all of them shall wear out like a garment; You shall change them like clothing, and they shall be changed. But You are the same, and Your years shall not be ended’ (Psalms 102:25-27 LITV).

So what is holding things together? From where does the power of life come?

‘If He made His Spirit come back to Him, taking His breath into Himself again, All flesh would come to an end together, and man would go back to the dust’ (Job 34:14-15 BBE).

The second law of thermodynamics is not greater than God. It is part of the inexorable process of decay that was initiated with sin. But God is above sin; He is Life. He is not subject to thermodynamics. He is the Reason that we and everything else are here, and not only here, but able to do, and doing, whatever it is each of us is engaged in at this precise moment. There is no other explanation.

So, thermodynamics were initiated with sin (We’ll ignore for the time being that digestion in the garden of eden presumably demanded the same thermodynamic processes utilized today) but, as we’ve previously discussed, sin cannot have been anything but a consequence of god. Therefore he isn’t above sin. Except he is, because he’s perfect. Except that we do whatever it is that god intends for us to do and, therefore, sin because we’re meant to. And… yes… the logical inconsistency just made my brain bleed.

God proved that He was greater than the physical world in His coming in the flesh as Jesus Christ. As a man, subject to the same laws that we are, Jesus did miracles transcending those laws, turning water into wine, multiplying food, walking on water, and raising the dead. Finally, He raised His own body from the dead after three days and three nights in the grave. These are all physical impossibilities by the known and observed laws of physics and nature, just as is creation itself. How is this explained then? It is explained by, and in, Jesus Christ:

I explain it the same way you explain Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, the faith of the ancient Greeks and other faiths: the miracles of Jesus are fictitious. Remember, Mr. Cohen, you and I are both atheists: it’s simply that I doubt the existence of just one more god than you do. This is not to say that the teachings of Jesus are foolish or useless- some of them are quite wise- but only that I strongly doubt the purported miracles of Jesus in much the same way that you likely doubt the existence of Sasquatch.*

‘Who being the shining splendor of His glory, and the express image of His essence, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, having made purification of our sins through Himself, He sat down on the right of the Majesty on high‘ (Hebrews 1:2-3 LITV).

The power that upholds all living things and the universe itself that contains them is the power by which Jesus Christ raised Himself from the dead. They are one and the same power. You are here, as is everyone and everything else, by virtue of the resurrection power of Jesus Christ, Who is God. Your very life depends on Him, even as you deny Him and seek out witty inventions to do so. He owns you:

I generally don’t think of myself as witty. Thank you!

‘He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, because by Him all things were created, those in the Heavens and those on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things are held together‘ (Colossians 1:15-17 EMTV).

He proved this by the resurrection from the dead:

‘Who was declared Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Romans 1:4 EMTV).

This is no theory or hypothesis but was a documented event that had many eyewitnesses who were willing to, and did, shed their own blood for the honor of being identified with the Lord Jesus Christ, Who was with them, and they testified of His sacrifice and forgiveness of sins, in love, truth, and power.

If I’m not mistaken, you refer obliquely to Paul’s account of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 where he states that somewhere in the area of 500 people witnessed the resurrection of Christ. Specifically:

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

Five hundred eye witnesses might impress me** but what we actually have is one man claiming that 500 people witnessed the resurrection. That’s a slightly different story. This, of course, ignores that there is reason to believe that the books of the bible were not composed until considerably after the death of Jesus and that the bible has been subject to a certain amount of revision over the years. In short, the documentation you refer to is, at best, suspect.

Are you willing and able to do the same for your theories? Will your theories do that for you? Of what value are they, then?

Will my theories raise me from the dead? I actually hope not- that’s not really what they’re intended to do. Leaving aside the issue of whether I’m willing to die in order to advance the “cause” of science, I will simply point out that a number of people were quite willing to sacrifice their lives for their religion with rather tragic results. A willingness to die for one’s cause, I am sure you will agree, should not be taken as the ultimate proof of that cause’s legitimacy. I am willing to devote my life to the scientific enterprise and I am willing to discuss matters with you in the hope that you, or others, may be swayed to the position that faith and science need not be in conflict. If that isn’t enough to satisfy you, it is at present enough for me. If you want to continue using the bible to trump scientific discovery, as others do, then I suppose that is your right, but I have no intention of following your example.

Paul

Been good talking to you.

So, dear readers, think about Mr. Cohen’s arguments and decide as you will.

* As it happens, I doubt Sasquatch as well, but that isn’t the point.

** Actually, I know a little too much about the reliability of testimony and mass behavior to necessarily be swayed by the sheer number of witnesses.

Drek

Paul’s reply:

Drek,

Although we have different viewpoints, because coming from different places spiritually (Heavenly vs. earthly), I appreciate your civility, and the consideration you have given to the words and details of this correspondence, though you are spiritually impaired in comprehending (not a putdown). You are closer to the Kingdom of God than many professors of Christ.

Yes, here is another long letter. You are laboring under misperceptions, and it is of great benefit to you and others to have them answered. I am glad to do this.

You say that your hope in this correspondence is that I “may be swayed to the position that faith and science need not be in conflict.” Let’s define what we are talking about here. Science is knowledge attained through study or practice, and the systematic use of that knowledge to explain natural phenomenon. As such, it is governed by men of fallible senses and motives.

True faith is the sure knowledge of what cannot be studied or observed by the physical senses, the spiritual realm of Heaven, which comes from within. Faith is an unmerited gift given by God through Jesus Christ, Who is the Express Image of God and His Mediator with mankind. Jesus Christ is the conduit between Heaven and earth, bringing man the knowledge of God, in Whose image man was made, and realizing this image in substance through the new birth from above, available in this present world for those He chooses.

God, in contrast to man, is infallible in motive, wisdom, and knowledge.

Now back to your statement. What is the relationship between faith and science, and is there a conflict?

Faith has no problem with science or any facts of truth derived therein. How could it? True faith is the domain of Jesus Christ, Who declared that He is the Truth, and He is. By Him, it is written, all things consist. Jesus Christ is the foundation and substance of all true science, being the Creator and Sustainer of everything. The only thing true science can do is reflect something of Him as its Creator. He is not in conflict with Himself, and neither are those who are truly with Him.

Conflict is born from beneath, coming from men, not science, and the so-called science that they believe in and practice.

Without faith, a man lives for himself and by himself. He is subject to his own prejudices and is driven by his own desires. He cannot surmount these things. They taint his being and all that he touches. There is nothing pure with him. He is out of harmony with the Law of God, and thereby with all of nature. That is how it ends up that man is such a destroyer. Man employs his science in destruction, wittingly or not.

We have an organic farm and health business. We are intimately involved in, and familiar with, what goes on in the realms of scientific agriculture and medicine, and we, along with many others, shake our heads in amazement at the stupidity and wickedness of men and what they do with their scientific knowledge. They use it to put toxins, destroyers of the first order, on the land and in people’s bodies. The harm done in the name of science has been very great. You say you have faith that man can understand the world he lives in. If you are satisfied with the results of man’s understanding, then your standards leave much to be desired. There is something much better, which is possible by the knowledge and understanding that comes from God and a right relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.

Does that mean all science and what scientists do is bad? No. It means that man cannot tell what is good or bad, not knowing his right hand from his left, though he figures out advanced physics and biochemistry. Man lacks wisdom. Man lacks the ability to do the right thing for himself, whom he loves, much less others, whom he does not. Man lacks faith. Man lacks God.

That is the missing link.

Because you are disconnected from God, you stumble around in the dark trying to explain things that you do not comprehend, being deceived into thinking you do. Knowledge has given you a drunken man’s confidence. Though you have a grasp on many scientific terms and matters, you lack the basic wisdom and knowledge that comes from knowing the truth, which serves as a compass to know where to go and what to do with what you know. Your viewpoint is wrong because you are in wrongness. That will not change until you have faith, not a religion, but the authentic faith of God through Jesus Christ.

You have become what the Bible calls a fool – one who says in his heart that there is no God (Psalm 14:1). You buy into evolution, which is total nonsense and is proven so, time and time again, though fools cannot see it.

Because I have the faith of God through Jesus Christ, I know the truth. I have no need to know all the latest scientific discoveries and controversies to know that God created the Heavens and the earth. It is not my faith in God that is irrational, and it does not come into conflict with science, but your faith in human intelligence and knowledge comes into conflict with both God and truth.

Is it more rational to have faith in the creature, who provably errs every moment, than to have faith in the One Who has proven Himself faithful and true and without error? While we do not use the Bible to trump scientific discovery, you use scientific discovery to support untenable theories to trump God.

You are applying a limited human mind and knowledge outside of the Foundation laid by the Creator, and this has caused you to misplace the facts like the team of blind men that examine an elephant, each a different section, ending up with an absurd composite picture. They believed in the whole, as you say scientists do today, or they would not have tried to make a complete picture. They explained as accurately as they could the parts they examined, just as you and your fellow evolutionists are doing with the same result – no resemblance to reality. Showing that various fields of science are interrelated is very different from understanding how and what to do about it, and doing it. Your confidence in man’s ability to properly harness and use his scientific knowledge is entirely misplaced. The evidence of the harm done to nature by man and his science is copious and ever mounting.

You point out that “Nebraska man,” which turned out to be pig’s tooth, was acknowledged as an error in short order, as other mistakes and hoaxes have been, like the Heidelberg, Piltdown, Peking, Neanderthal, and New Guinea (usually exposed against the wills of the speculators and “discoverers”). The point that matters is that there are yet many scientists persisting in trying to prove men came from apes, seeing missing links when such do not exist except in their imaginations. So I do not agree with you that scientists are doing their job well. The definition of insanity is that you keep doing the same wrong thing over and over.

Evolutionists fit this definition as they keep looking for evidence of what never happened in the first place, which is proven over and over when the “facts,” as with Nebraska man, are exposed to the light of day. How did they lose their minds? By not being connected to God, the Creator, but actively denying His Person, Authority, and Ownership. Thus:

“It’s written, I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head, I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots. So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense?” (1 Corinthians 1:19-20 MSG)

That wisdom and scholarship includes much of what you term “religious belief.” You have wrongly interpreted faith to mean “religious belief,” which is not the same thing at all. The faith of Christ, as I have said more than once, is the gift of God revealing Who He is and bestowing on man the power to believe and obey Him and to understand. Faith is focused on God. Religious belief is focused on man and includes whatever men believe, which is as varied as humanity. When these beliefs are generated by men, it is called “Babylon” by God, which indicates a whole lot of babble and confusion.

Religious belief, as you note, is irrational, but that is because its propagators are irrational, and not necessarily because people have all their facts wrong. In this respect it is no different from evolution, which, although it has some facts right, is also a belief based on man’s wrong thinking and doing. There is a kind of perverted faith associated with all such beliefs, perverted because centered on man’s knowledge and ability to use that knowledge for good. It is a black faith based on darkness, which is irrational by the standard of true rationality, the faith of God that is light.

Trying to persuade you by debate to forsake evolution is a vain task when you are steeped in, and fully committed to, this irrationality. That would make us no less foolish than you, putting our trust in man. What needs to happen is the opposite – the false confidence in what you trust must be destroyed.

Let me put it this way. You thought that I wanted to convert you to my way of thinking. I am not, however, at all interested in having you agree with me about evolution. That is not the issue. Beliefs, as I have just pointed out, are not synonymous with faith. The carnal man cannot give or receive the mind of God, Life Himself. The words that I am speaking to you are spirit and life. These do not come by believing in creation or joining a church or praying or studying or reading the Bible or witnessing or many other activities. They come from God through Jesus Christ, Who was raised from the dead. You, being dead, cannot resist Him Who is alive from the dead. He overcame your condition and has complete control over, and access to, your being. You can argue, yes, deny, and scoff. But He is doing as He will with you, and right now you are being seeded by the Word of God. You were made that way – like soil for plants; it cannot be otherwise.

Thus far you have been exposed to religion but not Reality. You say you have been exposed to God’s word, but the Word of God is Jesus Christ, not religion or religious beliefs in a book, even the Bible. Religion and theology are man’s attempt to understand and imitate God, which is no better, and often worse, than your own conjectures about God and theories of evolution. You do not presume to know; you only conjecture and use logic, while others presume to know God when they do not. They act as if He is with them, even murdering in His Name, and they are held more accountable. That is what the Bible calls taking the Name of God in vain, because the one naming Him does not produce the results of a right relationship with Him by faith.

You inferred from what I wrote in my letter that God is in complete control. That is correct. Your conclusions, however, as stated here, do not follow:

If one dies a sinner then, logically, it was because god willed one to sin. Is it then logical for god to punish that which he intended to happen? Obviously not. Logically, then, a universe with an omnipotent, omniscient creator god is one in which either there is no sin, or god punishes sins that his creations had no choice about committing. If god is perfect and merciful, as is often claimed, then the latter option would appear to be untenable, leaving us with the conclusion that sin is impossible.

You seem to be somewhat familiar with the Bible. Perhaps you did not know that this question is answered there. I am quoting a lengthy passage, but it is worth it. Please read carefully:

Romans 9:10-23 EMTV
(10) And not only this, but also Rebecca having conception from one man, our father Isaac;
(11) for the children not yet being born, nor having done anything good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might abide, not of works but of Him Who calls,
(12) it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.”
(13) As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
(14) What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Absolutely not!
(15) For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”
(16) So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God Who shows mercy.
(17) For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very thing I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth.”
(18) So then He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
(19) You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has ever resisted His will?”
(20) But indeed, O man, who are you to be answering back against God? Surely the thing formed will not say to him who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?”
(21) Or does not the potter have authority over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and the other for dishonor?
(22) But what if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make known His power, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath having been prepared for destruction,
(23) and so that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory.

While man may have no choice as to what he has been made, it is not correct to assume that he has no choices in life. It is written:

“A man’s heart plans his course, but the LORD directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 HNV).

You are living in ignorance of the spiritual realm, though from there the entire course of your life is directed. Therefore, how much do you think you can understand of life when you are in the dark about Him Who is directing it? You are in death, where it is said, “The dead know nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5).

You are also in error because of your knowledge of religion, which, once again, does not correlate with reality. You think that being subjected to vanity, to sin and loss, is not good, but God says otherwise. He says it is the only way you would ever come to know the hope of being set free from corruption and to have and appreciate the liberty that is in Him. There is no understanding or appreciation without disparity.

How will you learn, also, if not through discipline? What you call punishment is what the Bible calls judgment, which serves to bring every sinner into correction, to learn and do what is right in the sight of God that good might result:

“If our evil deeds show how right God is, then what can we say? Is it wrong for God to become angry and punish us? What a foolish thing to ask. But the answer is, ‘No.’ Otherwise, how could God judge the world?” (Romans 3:5-6 CEV)

It is a privilege, not a curse, to be judged, a good thing and not bad. Though painful and not pleasant, it is still necessary and good. The Bible says that judgment begins at the house of God. You have everything backwards, being in your carnal mind that is at enmity with God, because sitting in His seat and acting in His place as God. That is what happens when men eat from the Tree of Knowledge. You, like the serpent, may ascribe evil motives to God, rather than recognizing and knowing those motives come from within you.

Yes, I agree with you that “amateur philosophizing will get us nowhere,” but in this respect you will have to speak for yourself. We know whereof we speak. We are not giving opinion. I also agree with you that a healthy disrespect is due men’s opinions, both yours and mine. But I am speaking here by the revelation of Jesus Christ, and I am telling you what He has shown us. At this time you have more respect for your opinion than for Him, the Truth. So if you think of yourself as dirt, what does that make Him and the Truth in your eyes?

I wrote that when repentance comes, you will be humbled as a little child in spirit, and I quoted the Lord Jesus’ words about how it is to such that the Father reveals Himself, to which you wrote:

It always makes me nervous when people glorify the wisdom of a group that has to be taught not to eat paste. This is not to insult children, but rather simply to observe that the simple views of children are as often charmingly wrong as they are deeply profound.

Neither Jesus nor I glorify the wisdom of children. You quite missed the point. We glorify the wisdom of God, which is given to those who are humbled to be like children, not ruled by pride, ego, and false humility that prohibit one from receiving the Truth. It is to the humble and lowly that the Father reveals the secret things of life, and to whom He gives wisdom in all things.

Therefore, this statement of yours is not true, “I think it rather obvious that creation does not prove itself, however, as quite a few people do not believe in it.

The vast majority of people have not been humbled to be as little children to know or see God and believe in Him. Not knowing the Creator, many believe in evolution and other lies, having the Truth hidden from them. This is also the will of God:

“But we speak wisdom among the perfect, but not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, those being brought to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, having been hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age has known. For if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:6-8 LITV).

Does that mean we ought not speak to those not perfect in heart towards God and man? As you note, we do preach to those not perfect. Is this preaching of truth therefore contradictory, as you suggest, to my declaration of the fact that the creation is already manifest to all? No, it is consistent with what I am saying. Men have been blinded by their self-reliance on knowledge, which came as a result of jettisoning God from their midst.

We are not telling people what they do not know, but rather something they have chosen not to know. There is a difference, and it is not a strange thing that people are in denial and ignorant of many things they can see and know, when they have chosen to be blind. This is a commonly known phenomenon and is the basis for interventions, for example.

God intervenes in the charade of men living as if He is not there. That charade is epitomized by the teaching of evolution. God sends men to speak the unpalatable truth. It is unpalatable because it calls people into account for their ways before God. They know He is there, because He made them and has not left them without a testament of His power and Presence. They do not know He is there, because He has blinded them in their sins. They have chosen their sins so that God may some day judge them for their good.

That requires men of God laying their lives on the line for their fellow man, just as Christ did for them, to bring men out of their hideous unbelief and destructives. What man can figure out the wonderful ways of God? But we have witnessed His testimonies and His ways, beyond our understanding, as have many saints.

I will tell you this: Being fully submerged in it, you have no idea of the power and perniciousness of unbelief. You are as unaware of faith and light as deep-sea fish are of the earth and sky.

When I pointed out how little scientists, including you (whether you call yourself one is not an issue), truly know about life, being unable to make a single cell, let alone a fully functioning organism, you made this observation:

As for your contention about ‘duplicating’ cells- I rather doubt that you are capable of duplicating the computer you are presently working on. You have, after all, a working example; what’s so difficult about duplicating an integrated circuit? Does your present inability to duplicate your computer mean that the capability to do so is forever beyond your grasp? Of course not- it simply means you are presently incapable of it.

You are actually making my point very well. I cannot make an integrated circuit, but the possibility exists that I could learn to do so. However, with living things, no man can duplicate what God has made. I am not even addressing the matter of also making your own raw materials. I would grant you, and all of your evolutionary scientists, to use all known elements at your disposal, and you still cannot and will not make a living cell. Perhaps you think millions of years would help, as in your theories? It won’t. There is nothing new under the sun.

You really don’t know what you are talking about, but instead of admitting it, you claim that you do not think too highly of your own opinion. Drek, you have a ways to go before you begin to learn that:

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7 HNV).

Is an opinion worth holding that cannot tell the difference between the Almighty Creator and physical processes? You ask:

Do you know where ‘god’ comes from? If he/she/it can be eternal by your fiat, why then cannot physical processes?

God is not eternal by my decree! He is! How revelatory a statement! It precisely sums up the position of those who exclude God from His world, His people, and creation. They do so by their own decree (fiat)! This is the physical processes reigning supreme, calling the shots. They are now God, eternal, all powerful, the creators of life. This is not humility; it is the very opposite. And you said you disagree with the Scriptures I quoted to you? Take another look; you are in agreement:

“For when they had come to know God, they did not give Him glory as God nor render Him thanks, but they became absorbed in useless discussions, and their senseless minds were darkened. While boasting of their wisdom they became utter fools, and, instead of worshipping the imperishable God, they worshipped images resembling perishable man or resembling birds or beasts or reptiles” (Romans 1:21-23).

Dr. Prigogine is one of those, apparently, who also has supreme confidence in physical processes. But as I said about him, just because he is right about one thing, and I agree with that, does not mean that I am obliged to endorse his support of the unproven theories, to which he subscribes in order to circumvent acknowledging the Creator’s handiwork and Being. The original writer to whom I responded with Prigogine’s quote wrote this:

Complexity is not only possible; it is unavoidable. Otherwise, snowflakes would be impossible, yet there they are.

I answered with Prigogine’s quote because it correctly admits that the formation of snow crystals cannot explain the presence of living matter. From there, Prigogine may go on to speculate about the origin of biological systems, but that has nothing to do with the business at hand, and nothing else is implied or inferred.

I credit you for trying to illustrate what you accuse me of doing:

If I might illustrate the problem a bit more vividly, your colleague Victor Hafichuk in his treatise on evolution remarks, ‘He [a critic of creationism] speaks of ‘anxiety’ among religious people, and that their sad condition leads to reactions contrary to those things they find a threat. He is right.‘ Were I to quote merely that section of Mr. Hafichuk’s work, it would appear that he agrees whole-heartedly with the critic of creationism. I might use this quote to ‘show’ to others that even creationists acknowledge that their faith brings them no joy, and that they strike out at others because of fear. However, your colleague follows his statement with: ‘But I know in Whom I have believed, and know that He will keep me regardless of the darkness and foolishness of this world. So it is with all those who have not dead religion, but true, living faith.‘ These additional passages are key to understanding Mr. Hafichuk’s argument and honesty requires that they be included. Likewise, in order to understand Dr. Prigogine’s work you must present the full quote, not simply those sections that appear to agree with your own perspective.

To make this situation equivalent, my intention in quoting would have been to deceive, which it was not, as explained. I am not leading others to the conclusion that Prigogine does not agree with evolution. That is not the issue, and one could not rightly assume that from my quote. It really does not matter what his opinion is regarding that. I am not appealing to opinion or theory. All I am pointing out is that conventional scientists admit that the mechanism by which snowflakes are formed is not a viable explanation for the existence of biological systems, which phenomenon my correspondent incorrectly treated as admissible support for such. I ask you not to falsely accuse me of deception, deception being abhorrent to us (not your accusation); however, if you insist, so be it; it is nothing new to us by any means.

Furthermore, your understanding and conclusion about Mr. Hafichuk’s quote is in error. It can stand quite alone without the misinterpretation you attribute to it because it is not saying what you think it is saying. Taken at its plain meaning, it is not a criticism of, or disagreement with, creation. It is only an agreement with the observation one made of the anxiety that exists with the religious, who are threatened by ideas contrary to their doctrine, which is a sad thing. It is sad because their trust is not in God, Whom they profess, and instead of living faith, all they have is dead religion with doctrines, which, though true, do not bring life. As I told you in my last letter, many who profess the Creator do not know Him or believe in Him. They are “Christian” atheists.

You ask if I am suggesting that God (Jesus Christ) sustains all life moment-to-moment. I am not only suggesting it; I am stating it as categorical fact, as testified many times in Scripture. Here is one instance of such:

“He is the Image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation. He created all things in Heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. Whether they are kings or lords, rulers or powers- everything has been created through Him and for Him. He existed before everything and holds everything together” (Colossians 1:15-17 GW).

Here is another:

“For in Him we live, and move, and have our being…” (Acts 17:28 KJV).

I did not say there is anything in thermodynamics that makes life impossible, only that thermodynamics cannot account for the existence of life.

I wrote:

The Bible, written by men of God (and sealed in many cases with the
earnestness of their blood, unlike your careless case),
” to which you ask: “So the bible was written by men, not by god?

Yes, men of God:

“God, Who in various ways and in many ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by the Son, Whom He has appointed Heir of all things, through Whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2 EMTV).

“For we are not as the rest, corrupting the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:17 EMTV).

God is also speaking through us by the Son.

As for this observation:

I think it inaccurate, by the way, to suggest that men and women have not died for science- they have and continue to do so. I could say that this is because they believe the learning is worth the price but, as likely as not, it’s frequently just because scientists are too curious not to poke puzzles with a stick. Every cause has its martyrs, Mr. Cohen, including human learning.

I did not suggest that people have not died for their beliefs, but said that you are not putting your life on the line for what you believe, and are therefore careless. Nor am I suggesting, as you also say, that it would be worth it for you to do so. It would not. It is only worth it to die for the Truth, and that is even necessary.

It is not worth dying, though, for what one presumes to be true facts. Galileo, for instance, relented before the brutal inquisitors who demanded, under threat of death, that he recant of his public stance that the earth revolved around the sun. Who can blame him for recanting (though supposedly he muttered under his breath, “For all that, the earth still moves”)?

But it is worth dying for the Truth, the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, you must take up the cross and die in order to come to Him in the first place, and then, being dead to the world, physical death is possible to embrace, even joyfully. That is the big difference between scientists (along with others who have died because of their beliefs) and the saints of God. The martyrs of Christ knew what they were getting into, and gladly did so for the honor and privilege of identifying with Him. They were dying for Someone, because in and one with Him, loving Him because experiencing His love for them, which is much different than dying for a theorem or doctrine:

“For I have no pleasure in the death of him who dies, says the Lord GOD: therefore turn yourselves, and live” (Ezekiel 18:32 HNV).

But: “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints” (Psalms 116:15 KJV).

You ask me if thermodynamics was initiated with sin. I did not say that. I said the second law of thermodynamics is not greater than God, but the effects of it, degradation and decay, were visited on Adam after he sinned and was separated from God. Listen to this:

“The LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you shall not eat of it; for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17 HNV).

The very day Adam ate from that tree, death set in. What is physical death but the result of the inexorable process of the second law of thermodynamics?

Again:

“To Adam He said, Because you have listened to your wife’s voice, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it, cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Thorns also and thistles will it bring forth to you; and you will eat the herb of the field. By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:17-19 HNV).

Death is the wages of sin (Romans 6:23). All men have sinned (broken God’s Law of Good, Right, and Life) and have fallen short of the glory of God (Who is eternal life). When sin is done away with, so is death:

“And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying out; neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4 EMTV).

Jesus Christ brought mankind the forgiveness of sins, to put the sins away and to make the way for man to re-enter into union with God. As many as believe on Him and receive Him are reconciled to God and receive a new nature, which is eternal life:

“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 EMTV)

You blame God for this fall from life in the garden, at least you reason it this way (if, you presume, God exists, Whom you deny):

…as we’ve previously discussed, sin cannot have been anything but a consequence of god. Therefore he isn’t above sin. Except he is, because he’s perfect. Except that we do whatever it is that god intends for us to do and, therefore, sin because we’re meant to. And… yes… the logical inconsistency just made my brain bleed.

You need a new brain to have the true perspective. The view from above shows there is no inconsistency or unfairness whatsoever. It shows that everything God does is right and everything man does is wrong. That is the entire testimony of the Bible. God is not the one who sinned. Man sinned and fell into a perpetual state of wrongness. Is God therefore responsible? Certainly, inasmuch as He made man, He made the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and He made the serpent. It is all His work. He made these things knowing man would fall. Here is His purpose:

“For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of Him Who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:20-21 ASV).

He is taking the object of His affection (man) through the process of learning both good and evil, reward and consequence, building it all into his nature as He forms man in His image. All things are necessary.

“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things; to Him be glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:36 MKJV).

I say that God is responsible. As the Creator of man, and the One subjecting him to futility, He must be. But His responsibility extends far beyond what you see. God has not left man to his own devices forever. He, in the Person of Jesus Christ, did what no man could do. He delivered mankind from sin and death by His own sinless sacrifice. There is not a single thing anyone could do to deliver him or herself from this condition. As all have been born in sin and sold out to it, so in Christ, the sinless One, will all be born again, made alive and delivered from the body of death, whether in this life, or in the ages to come.

We have all been very willing subjects of sin, choosing our ways above God. No one can say he or she is innocent. Everyone has not only been born into sin, but has also sinned. Neither trying to cover over the fact by being religious, nor denying sin exists by becoming philosophical, nor admitting it and indulging it to the max gets anyone out of his or her damnable condition. There has been nothing we could do about it. And none of us has the free gift of grace in Jesus Christ coming to us, and we cannot do anything to get it. That is what makes it grace. It is purely God’s doing and call. You are totally at His mercy, whether you know it or not, like it or not. It is the way things are (Here Is the Way It Is).

When God’s grace appeared to us, He turned us from our sins and the arrogance of thinking we were in charge. For a time He let us have our way, walking in delusion and deceit. We repented and believed, because He drew us to Himself and revealed Who He is and what we are, which is worthless “drek.” He did that for us, and He will do it for you and for everyone else, in his or her time. We are all made of the same material. If He died for one, He died for all. Isn’t that wonderful? That is why we are sent to preach the Word of God, the authentic Good News of Jesus Christ.

So is He unfair? Hardly. Your eyes have just not yet been opened to see Jesus Christ as He is:

“Riding the clouds, He’ll be seen by every eye, those who mocked and killed Him will see Him, people from all nations and all times will tear their clothes in lament. Oh, Yes” (Revelation 1:7 MSG).

Not seeing Him, you do not believe He was raised from the dead or that He did any miracles. You say:

I explain it the same way you explain Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, the faith of the ancient Greeks and other faiths: the miracles of Jesus are fictitious. Remember, Mr. Cohen, you and I are both atheists: it’s simply that I doubt the existence of just one more god than you do. This is not to say that the teachings of Jesus are foolish or useless- some of them are quite wise- but only that I strongly doubt the purported miracles of Jesus in much the same way that you likely doubt the existence of Sasquatch.

There is a tremendous difference between any claims of miracles in the religions you mention and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. You owe it to yourself to at least know what you are talking about before bringing up invalid arguments. The case for the resurrection is considered to be of legal quality (by many qualified legal experts – there are many articles and books on the matter if you care to read about it), not that we need men’s word for it, or take men’s word; the faith of Christ comes by knowing Him firsthand, from His appearing to us by His Spirit. That is how we know Him, and how He has confirmed His Godhood with many, many proofs and also the truths in Scripture. Someday you may read bookfuls of the proofs in our lives, if you wish, Lord willing we publish it.

You question Paul’s assertion that over 500 people saw the resurrected Lord, saying Paul is only one witness vouching for the rest. But other writers of the Bible also testify to seeing the Lord with detailed reports of conversations and even of taking meals together. Where are the contrary witnesses to the fact that there was no body in Jesus’ tomb after the third day? Here they are:

“Meanwhile, the guards had scattered, but a few of them went into the city and told the high priests everything that had happened. They called a meeting of the religious leaders and came up with a plan: They took a large sum of money and gave it to the soldiers, bribing them to say, ‘His disciples came in the night and stole the body while we were sleeping.’ They assured them, ‘If the governor hears about your sleeping on duty, we will make sure you don’t get blamed.’ The soldiers took the bribe and did as they were told. That story, cooked up in the Jewish High Council, is still going around” (Matthew 28:11-15 MSG).

You may say the Gospel writers made this report concerning others, which you dismiss. I merely point out that the apostle Paul was not the only one testifying of Christ’s death and resurrection and the miracles. Furthermore, it is a matter of historical record that Old Testament prophets and writers prophesied by the Spirit of God hundreds of things that were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, centuries, even millennia before the day of His coming, many of which were fulfilled in small detail. And the charge of tampering with Holy Writ is easily disproven as well, as with, for example, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, not to mention the reverence, skill, discipline, and determination of a great part of Jewry throughout over three millennia to keep the record as straight as possible. The record has not changed but for few, tiny, and insignificant details, which have not taken away from the truth and substance by any means. Of course, you can brush these things aside, excusing yourself as you choose; fine.

You do not have your facts straight about the Bible, the dates of authorship, and the alleged subsequent revisions. The Bible is by far the most studied and prevalent text of ancient times, and It is well documented and noted for Its consistency. It was written when It says It was written (the facts are there in the text itself). Your ignorance and unfounded conclusions in these matters work against you, as they must.

No, Drek, there is no equivalence with Jesus Christ. Muhammad is still in his grave, as are Buddha and Krishna. Only Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, directing and communicating with mankind as He wills, and as He has done with us.

How do we know? We know Him; He lives today. No religion generally tries to make that claim of their religious founders, not even the Muslims, who teach the myth that Muhammad ascended to Heaven on a white horse. They never claim (that we have ever heard) that they hear his voice. We claim to hear Jesus Christ’s voice because we do hear it, as He promised (and which Muhammad never did):

“To Him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear His voice; and He calls His own sheep by name and He leads them out. And whenever He brings out His own sheep, He goes before them; and the sheep follow Him, because they know His voice. But they will by no means follow a stranger, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers” (John 10:3-5 EMTV).

“And he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you to know His will, and to see the Righteous One, and hear the voice from His mouth’” (Acts 22:14 EMTV).

Many in Scripture have testified of the present, living Christ, as do we.

I will not attempt to remember, as you ask, something not worthy of remembrance. There are many false gods but One True God. Atheism is the denial of His existence and not of any others that either do not exist to begin with or are not The God, though almost revered by fools as though they are.

If I believe in the one true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, you cannot call that atheism. Those who believe in many gods, are, in truth, atheists, as are those who believe in any one false god, like Allah (Islam) or the false “Jesus” (False Love – Satan’s Last Stronghold), which is so prevalent in this world. There is only one Name by which men can be saved, and that is Jesus Christ, the Truth, the Spirit of the living God.

If you have not, please read my testimony (Paul Cohen), because you should know that I was not raised to believe in Christ. I was converted by and to Him, which is a miracle.

At the end of your letter you write:

Will my theories raise me from the dead? I actually hope not- that’s not really what they’re intended to do. Leaving aside the issue of whether I’m willing to die in order to advance the ‘cause’ of science, I will simply point out that a number of people were quite willing to sacrifice their lives for their religion with rather tragic results. A willingness to die for one’s cause, I am sure you will agree, should not be taken as the ultimate proof of that cause’s legitimacy.

My point about your theories: If God raises from the dead, don’t you think that He is more worthy to be (and should be) consulted with, rather than you with your theories of life? He is Life.

Science, even if true, did not lay down its life for you. Hence, there is no reward in your laying down your life for it. There is no life to be had there. The same goes for Islamic jihadists, who provide an excellent contrast of what false religion does, compared to true. They take the lives of others in the wanton violence of men, as have Catholics, Lutherans, and many other religions; but the Lord Jesus Christ lays down His life for the unworthy in the purposeful love of God, as do those who are truly His. Those reborn in Christ bring life to the world, wielding a sword, but not one of carnal warfare. The sword of the Spirit penetrates within, removing illusions and every false thing that vaunts itself against the knowledge of God.

Paul

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