20 December, 2018

17. The Gospel in the Stars


17. The Gospel in the Stars



Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons... —Genesis 1:14

God's entire story of redemption is summed up in one chapter in the Bible, and I bet you'll never guess which one.  In fact, I will gift you a copy of Unbreakable Vow (sequel to Primordium) if you can tell me which chapter. Simply email me at redemptionchapter [at] blogginghisstory [dot] com with 2 words in the subject line—the book of the bible and the chapter number.

That aside, there is also this idea of the gospel in the stars, or a Christian Zodiac. This theory purports that the original understanding of the constellations pointed to Christ and the gospel message.

Examples:

Aries: The Lamb of God

Leo: The Lion of Judah


Bethany Blankley, a biblical literacy advocate, wrote a series of articles on this subject, which you can read at The Original Christian Zodiac.

Not every Christian agrees with the theory. Note, it's not that they find the concept pagan or immoral, they just don't believe there is any historical merit.  For more on that point of view, see Is There a Christian Zodiac?

Personally, I have no opinion on either theory.

So I await your emails on the Chapter That Will Not Be Named hinted at earlier in this post. 😜

17 December, 2018

16. Rodinia and Panthalassa

16. Rodinia and Panthalassa



"Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” —Genesis 1:9

On Day Two, God created Earth's atmosphere, and on Day Three the super-continent, Rodinia, rose up out of the solitary ocean. (Sadly, the oceanic floor of Panthalassa, aka the proto-Pacific, no longer exists. More on that in another post.)

According to both NIA and Creationist scientists, our modern continents are made out of pieces from the original earth (before continental drift). These core pieces are called cratons.

North America holds one of the largest cratons.


Cratons can be described as:
  1. shields—in which the basement rock crops out at the surface
  2. platforms—in which the basement is overlaid by sediments and sedimentary rock. 
In North America, there is an exposed portion of the craton called the Canadian Shield. It may not be the most interesting vacation spot ever, but I would still find it fascinating to actually touch it. 




Photo Credit: Public Domain and Creative Commons



13 December, 2018

15. Let There Be Light and the Heavy Ion Collider


15. Let There Be Light and the Heavy Ion Collider



"Let there be light..."
—Gen 1:3

With those four words, Eternity Past fades into obscurity, and the Anno Mundi* (Latin for In the Year of the World) Epoch begins.

Years ago, I saw a bumper sticker that read: I believe in the Big Bang. God said it, and BANG it happened. I always liked that because I felt it helped bridge the so-called gap between science and religion.

Why "so-called"?

Since the NIA believes science = natural laws and forces only, it is an oxymoron to be a scientist who believes in both natural and supernatural forces.

By the NIA's own definition, the scientific method must be observable and repeatable. Thus, NIA scientists denounce Creation scientists and deem Creation Science a pseudoscience, and any adherents are ignorant and absurd, if not downright idiotic, because they resolve "to describe natural history in terms of scientifically untestable supernatural causes.

Think about that.

If something is not observable, repeatable, and testable, it's not science.

Do we observe something coming from nothing?

Can we test something coming from nothing?

Can we repeat something come from nothing?

The long answer? No.

Thus, by default, NIA Cosmology is just as much a pseudoscience as Creation Science.

Creation scientists didn't observe God create the world.

NIA scientists didn't observe a random explosion called the Big Bang.

Neither group of scientists can repeat the creation of a universe.

So just for a moment, let's discard the "observable, repeatable, and testable" method when it comes to cosmology...this is where the Ion Collider comes in. (I know, I'm having a geekfest here, but this is really cool!) The Heavy Ion Collider is the largest machine in the world; it is contained in a circular tunnel, with a circumference of 17 miles, at a depth ranging from 164 to 574 ft underground.


According to a ridiculously convoluted and nearly unpronounceable paper written by NIA scientists and published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the conditions of the early universe were biased toward creating something out of nothing, because "for every 10 billion anti-particles, there were 10 billion particles — plus one." The plus one, they've dubbed the “God particle” which "allows for the existence of pretty much everything else in the universe."

That still doesn't explain where the 10 billion particles from from, but we'll ignore that.

When particles and anti-particles collide, they create a flash of light (hmmm), and with the "God-particle" such a collision caused the universe to come into being.


CERN physicists collided heavy ions to free quarks, recreating (repeating) hypothetical conditions that existed in the universe just after the Big Bang. For the sake of argument, let's say the only difference between the popping into existence of the universe at the Big Bang and the popping into existence at the command "Let there be light" is the random chance of the primordial Hadron ion collider button depressing by itself vs God hit the primordial Hadron ion collider button.

The science is the same whether you are a NIA or Creationist scientist. It's just a matter of First Cause: God, or the 10 billionth and one (10,000,000,001) particle.


So how did I incorporate an ion collision into Creation week in CoT?  The above gif and the first post photo above inspired the idea of the Prince jumping into the matrix (ionized by the Holy Spirit's hovering over the face of the deep). And in the video above (@ 0:12 seconds), the ions collide with the Prince at the very moment God says, "Let there be light."  


*Anno Mundi was the original calendar era before BC / Before Christ and AD  / Anno Domini (Latin for In the Year of our Lord), which is slowly being replaced by the NIA's BCE / Before the Common Era and CE / Common Era. Based on the biblical accounts of the creation of the world and subsequent history, Anno Mundi was used by the Eastern churches (Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, etc) all the way through 1728, and is used by the Jewish people to this day. The Western Church (Catholics and by-default Protestants) never embraced it. They instead used the Anno Domini (in the Year of our Lord) devised in 525, though it was not widely used until after 800. (In CoT, Anno Mundi is the dating used by Gavriel in his reports and summary logs).

Photo Credit:  Matthieu Pangea © Used with Permission. / GIF Photobucket:Shareware / Ion Collider

Washington Post: Scientists may have solved mystery of matter’s origin

Physical Review Letters: Postinflationary Higgs Relaxation and the Origin of Matter-Antimatter Asymmetry Alexander Kusenko, Lauren Pearce, and Louis Yang Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 061302 – Published 11 February 2015

10 December, 2018

14. In the beginning, nothing became something.


14. In the beginning, nothing became something.



"In the beginning, God..." 
—Gen 1:1

Aha! We arrive at the beginning...probably where most of you assumed this journey would start. A new Epoch, Time itself, is about to begin, but more on that in our next post. First, the war, and the battle of the worldviews.

The NIA would have you to believe that:

science = natural / random chance
religion = supernatural / design, and thus a designer


If the above formula is correct, then yes, there is a gap, because the above is a conflicting worldview; i.e., they can't both be right. Obviously, the NIA's natural explanation of the origins of the universe will automatically conflict with any supernatural explanation.

But is the above formula correct?

The Battle of the Worldviews.

#1: NIA Worldview/Bias held by NIA scientists (geologists, physicists, astronomers, etc., who believe in natural forces only): God does not exist. / Only natural laws and forces operate in the world.

#2: Christian Worldview/Bias held by Creation scientists (geologists, physicists, and astronomers, etc., who believe in both natural and supernatural forces): God does exist. / Both natural and supernatural forces operate in the world.

Ever play Monopoly, the real estate trading game made by Parker Brothers? Remember all the little tokens — the automobile, the thimble, the little hat, and the little shoe? Imagine a discussion between Little Hat and Little Shoe, who are faithfully going around the Monopoly board for the umpteenth time.

As Little Hat passes a hotel belonging to one of his opponents, he says to Little Shoe: "Say ... do you believe in Parker?"

Little Shoe looks at him quizzically. Little Hat explains: "You know—look over there, on the side of the board. It says in big black letters, 'Made by Parker Brothers.' So, do you believe in that? Do you believe in Parker?" Little Shoe replies: "'Yes, I suppose I do. What about you?"

So Little Hat responds, with an air of weary frustration: "Look, I've been around here a long time. Every week, I pass 'GO,' and I collect my $200. I've been to Tennessee Avenue, St. James Place, Boardwalk, you name it. I've seen it all. Heck, I've even been to jail. And I'll tell you something. I ain't never seen Parker. This whole time, I've just never bumped into him. So no, I don't believe in Parker. I'm a Parker atheist."

If you could interject at this point in the conversation, what would you say to Little Hat? You'd say: "My dear Little Hat, you're looking for Parker in all the wrong places. Parker doesn't live on the board. He made the board!"

The maker of a system doesn't live inside that system. As creator, you interact with the system that you made: you make the rules (the natural laws and forces that operate the world) by which the system functions. And you can override them. Little shoe and Little Hat would call that supernatural. But to you, the creator, that is natural. It is the system, the world of Little Shoe and Little Hat, that is sub-natural.

To help drive home this point, the 'sub-natural world' is precisely what Lucifer and his minions calls the earth in CoT.


Hands and World / Galaxy Creative Commons / Monopoly Gameboard Public Domain / Monopoly Hat and Shoe

Monopoly Analogy taken from The Exodus You Almost Passed Over by Rabbi David Fohrman, pages 54-56.

07 December, 2018

13. Genesis is Tolodoth Colophons


13. Genesis is Tolodoth Colophons



This is the account
of the creation of the heavens and the earth. 
—Genesis 2:4a 

Aha! We are finally in Genesis. But wait, we’re starting with Genesis 2:4, not Genesis 1:1??? And Tolo-colo what???

First, let's start with the NIA's officially sanctioned method of studying the Bible. Called Biblical Criticism, this method avoids “dogma and bias by applying a non-sectarian, reason-based judgment, and the reconstruction of history according to contemporary understanding.” In other words, , this method avoids religious bias by requiring a non-religious bias.

Did you get that?

According to the NIA, the only intelligent method of studying the Bible is one that dismisses out of hand any and all belief in miracles and the supernatural, which of course, includes God.

The History channel and most “Biblical” documentaries hold to the NIA’s method of Bible study. So you’ve likely heard that Moses, the “author” of Genesis, borrowed from Sumerian and Babylonian creation and flood myths when writing Genesis. You’ve also probably heard that science and/or archaeology has proven Genesis to be false time and time again.

In the last post, we talked about myth versus history. And we ended with questioning how one would go about determining the original account. That’s where the Tolodoth comes in.

In Hebrew, Genesis 2:4a reads “This is the tolodoth of the creation of the Heavens and the Earth.” Tolodoth can be translated generations, book, record, or account.

Genesis is a collection of these Tolodoths…the tolodoth of Adam (Gen 5:1a), the tolodoth of Noah (Gen 6:9a), the tolodoth of Shem, Ham, and Japheth(Gen 10:1a), the tolodoth of the Clans of Noah’s Sons (Gen 10:32), the tolodoth of Shem (Gen 11:10a), the tolodoth of Terah (Gen 11:27a), the tolodoth of Isaac* (Gen 25:19), and the tolodoth of Jacob* (Gen 37:2a).


As cuneiform (wedge-shaped symbols) is one of the earliest systems of writing, it was likely the writing system employed by Noah and his sons, as well as their ancestors (Adam, Seth, Enoch). Thus their tolodoths would have been recorded in this style—cuneiform written with a stylus on clay tablets which were then baked.

If this is the case, if Adam wrote Genesis 2 and Noah and/or Shem wrote Genesis 6-9 and so forth in cuneiform on clay tablets, then these passages should bear similarities to Sumerian cuneiform tablets. Right?

That’s where the colophons come in.

Colophons are devices located at the end of a manuscript, containing information about the manuscript, including the composition’s title, the scribe’s the date and location,etc., such as "this has been the history/book/genealogy of..." The Epic of Gilgamesh has a colophon. So does the Epic of Paradise. And many other Sumerian texts.**

A British Air Commodore P. J. Wiseman, who visited many active archaeological sites during his career in the Middle East, recognized that the Genesis phrases share the same Sumerian colophons format.

If Moses was writing Genesis without any outside sources, there would be no reason to keep interrupting the narrative flow of the text to insert “this is the book/record of so-and-so.” The colophons are historical evidence that Moses compiled Genesis by copying the detailed and accurate recorded history that his eye witness+ ancestors had kept (ancient records were HIGHLY prized in those days, like a driver’s license or passport today).



But how could Moses have read paleo-Sumerian cuneiform?

According to the Bible, "Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and in deeds" (Acts 7:22). Plus, archeological discoveries on ancient Egyptian education "indicates that as Moses grew in the royal court, he would have received much formal training in reading and writing the hieroglyphic and hieratic scripts, in copying texts, and in writing letters and other formal documents" (John J. Davis, former president and professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Grace Theological Seminary, 1975, 26).



But for the sake of argument, let’s say Moses was not familiar with paleo-Sumerian cuneiform. The brevity of the first few Tolodoths (Gen 1:11) compared to the lengthy accounts of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12-36) imply the writing style had evolved to writing on parchment by Abraham’s day. (By Moses day, writing was done on papyrus/paper, and that’s when Bible passages get REALLY lengthy). Anyway, it is quite possible that Abraham had already translated the cuneiform tablets passed down to him onto parchment into Hebrew (or a paleo-Hebrew).

Next week we look in-depth at Creation Week as recorded on the first tolodoth. I hope to see you there!

Swordcraft Tip:

In whatever color you've designated for archaeology (or just a general color if you don't have a particular color for archaeology), highlight the Genesis tolodoths: Gen 2:4a, Gen 5:1a, Gen 6:9a, Gen 10:1a, Gen 10:32, Gen 11:10a, Gen 11:27a, Gen 25:19, and Gen 37:2a. (Be sure not to highlight Gen 2:4b as we will be discussing that portion of the verse in another post.)

Further Reading:
https://creation.com/who-wrote-genesis-are-the-toledoth-colophons 
http://www.talkgenesis.org/genesis-toledoth-mystery/ 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiseman_hypothesis

*The tolodoth of Isaac and the tolodoth of Jacob include embedded tolodoths of their brothers, Ishmael and Esau, respectively (they likely exchanged copies of each other’s tolodoths when they met for their father’s funeral, see Gen 25:9 and Gen 35:28-29) 

**For a compilation of Sumerian texts and their colophons, see The Ancient Near East by James B. Pritchard. 

 +Many Christian scholars belief the first tolodoth (Gen 2:4a) to be written by God himself, much like the Ten Commandments.

Photo Credit: history clock / skull hourglass  / cuneiform tablet and tablets (public domain) / clocks / parchment (public domain)

06 December, 2018

12. Genesis is Myth


12. Genesis is Myth


Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. 
—Proverbs 30:5-6


"The story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth that really happened."

These words were written by J. R. R. Tolkien (author of the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) in a letter he wrote to his good friend C. S. Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia).

According to the dictionary, Myth is: a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.

By that definition, myth is interconnected with history. But wait. History is fact and myth is fiction, right?

According to the historical theory of myth, myths are distorted accounts of historical events. So the original historical event is true, and then each culture that experiences that historical event endeavors to pass on that history to its descendants in a narrative that incorporates the social order and values of that culture.


This understanding of myth as history dates back to ancient times (the days when the Greek gods of Percy Jackson were worshiped).

But today we “know” myth is fiction, so what happened?

The NIA.

The foundational premise of the NIA is the assumption that anything that involves the supernatural is automatically fiction.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “there is no attempt to justify mythic narratives or even to render them plausible. Every myth presents itself as an authoritative, factual account, no matter how much the narrated events are at variance with natural law ordinary experience.” (Emphasis mine)

So, by the NIA’s standards, because the Bible includes events that are at variance with natural law and ordinary experience, it is automatically fiction; relegated to myth. Its historicity is denied, and the only value it possesses is as literature.


And since the Bible has proven itself to be myth, there is no reason to study it for plausibility or truth, even if evidence supports its claims. Any such evidence must be vehemently refuted, debunked, or denied.

But what if the NIA is wrong? What if there was a historical event that precedes these myths? How do we determine which culture’s narrative of events is an account of the actual historical account?

The next post (and the rest of this first segment) addresses just that.

While you wait, check out this awesome clip from ETWN’s portraying a debate between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien on whether or not myths are lies. This debate was ultimately instrumental in C.S. Lewis's conversion to Christianity.(FYI: CS Lewis liked to be called Jack.)


Swordcraft Tips: Highlight Proverbs 30:5-6 in your designated spiritual warfare color.

Photo Credit:  Tolkien and Lewis movie poster /  Greek Gods

05 December, 2018

11. Genesis is Poetry


11. Genesis is Poetry



For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, 
so that people are without excuse.
—Romans 1:20

The NIA has been circulating the "Genesis is poetry" rumor for nearly a century.

(Even Christian theologians and apologists have been recruited into the NIA…another reason to remember that the NIA is a weapon of the enemy, not the enemy itself…though admittedly it’s easy to forget this due to the vehemence of their attacks against any who would disagree with them).

The “logical” conclusion is, of course, that poetry is fiction; thus, the Creation account in Genesis is fiction.

Say you wrote a poem about something you experienced—bullying or abuse, the death of a friend or loved one. Because you wrote about that experience as poetry, it automatically isn’t true?

Obviously. Not.

So the NIA’s assumption that poetry automatically = fiction is not valid. It’s not even logical.

But here’s the real kicker.

Genesis isn’t even Hebrew poetry.


The creation accounts in chapters 1 and 2 are written as historical narrative. But the NIA assumes you will blindly believe whatever they say.

How do I know it’s not poetry?

Because linguists (experts in languages) have examined the differences between Hebrew poetry and Hebrew narrative.

Sentences, regardless of language, can be broken down into three main parts: Subject (S), Verb (V), and Object (O). Interestingly enough, these parts can be in various orders.



Yoda:
Powerful (O) you (S) have become (V) 

Japanese:
You (S) powerful (O) have become (V)

English & Hebrew Poetry:
You (S) have become (V) powerful (O) 

Hebrew Narrative:
Have become (V) you (S) powerful (O)

So how are the Genesis Creation accounts written?

In the beginning, created (V) God (S) the heavens and the earth (O).

This is the verb(V) subject(S) object(O) of Hebrew Narrative, not the (S), (V), (O) of Hebrew poetry.

It's that simple.

And now you're in the know.

For examples of Hebrew poetic accounts of Creation, see Psalm chapters 8, 19, 29, 65, 104, and 139.



Swordcraft Tips:

Label Psalm chapters 8, 19, 29, 65, 104, and 139 and/ or list them in the margin of Genesis chapter 1 as examples of Hebrew poetry.

Write in the margin of Genesis chapter 1: Hebrew narrative = (V), (S), (O). In the beginning, created (V) God (S) the heavens and the earth (O).

Highlight Romans 1:20 in your designated Spiritual Warfare color.

Interested in learning more? Check out these links:
Linguistics, Genesis, and Evolution 
Genesis Is History, Not Poetry: Exposing Hidden Assumptions about What Hebrew Poetry Is and Is Not 
Is Genesis poetry / figurative, a theological argument (polemic) and thus not history?
Creation Psalms and What They Teach

Photo Credits: Prototype CreationYoda by Fathead / Genesis page / Torah Scroll

04 December, 2018

10. The NIA


10. The NIA


Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
1 Cor 1:20

So if the war is not against flesh and blood (mere mortals), then who is it against?

Since this is a Bible study, let’s focus on the biggest enemy of the Bible itself.

Who, or more specifically, what is the Bible’s biggest enemy?

Naturalism.

Huh?

I know. Stupid, boring-sounding word. But naturalism is like the Gatling gun in The Last Samurai.


If you are not invincible to its bullets, you will be shot down, and there will be no getting up.

So what is Naturalism? Naturalism is the presupposition / belief that nothing supernatural exists; anything and everything can be explained by natural forces. So no God. No miracles. No nothing outside the ordinary.

Technically, naturalism isn’t the enemy, but the enemy’s weapon of choice. With this weapon, the lords of the unseen world target Western civilization (namely North America and Europe). Since Naturalism is spouted and propounded by the educated, I will refer to this weapon as the Naturalist Intelligentsia Army (NIA).

The #1 mission of the NIA is to demolish the Bible’s credibility…not just on religious grounds, but even as a trustworthy historical text. Thus, the NIA denounces anyone—layman, scholar, scientist, historian—who would take it seriously (let alone actually believe in it and the supernatural) as “ignorant, stupid, or insane.”


Don’t let them tell you what to believe. Be a rebel. Examine the evidence as you go through this study, and decide for yourself what you will believe.

Swordcraft Tip: Highlight 1 Corinthians 1:20 in your designated spiritual warfare color.

Photo Credit: Turkish Warrior: WikimediaCommons / Intelligence: Public Domain

03 December, 2018

9. The War


9. The War


Armor of God by Christine Kerrick

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. So put on the full armor of God, to defend yourself against HaShatan,
 so that when the day of evil comes, and the smoke clears, you are still standing.
Eph 6:11-13 (my paraphrase).

What is the purpose of Blogging Hi§tory?

There are millions of Bible studies out there (including chronological ones), so what makes this one unique?

Other Bible studies focus on application (a good thing in its own right). But Blogging Hi§tory focuses more on relevancy—relevancy to YOUR life. If you are a Christian, and church or youth group is just something you do on Sunday mornings and/or Wednesday nights, you may not think the Bible really has any relevancy to your life—a life inundated with grades, girls, music, video games, friends…cyberbullying, school shootings, teen suicides.

Seriously, what has an ancient document thousands of years old have anything to do with the crap you go through on a daily basis?

Everything.

Because that crap is the mine fields, and the bombs, and the grenades, and the AK-47 bullets of the invisible war that you are in. And you may already have scars from shrapnel wounds, maybe you’re even an amputee. And maybe life threw you onto the battlefield the way Adrien Brody was thrown out of an airplane in Predators—waking up to find himself falling from the sky at 125 mph with no idea where he was or how he got there.


But just like Adrien Brody, you have a weapon strapped to your back.

The only question is, do you know how to use it?

And that is what makes this Bible study unique, because that is what this Bible study is all about—it’s your survival manual, your how-to weapon guide, your daily rations, your map, your compass.

It will show you how your weapon is not an antiquated, rusty blade, but a two-edged sword with the power to cut the soul from the spirit (Hebrews 4:12).

Are you game?



Swordcraft Tips:

Highlight Ephesians 6:11-17 and Hebrews 4:12 in whatever color you designated for spiritual warfare.

Photo Credits: Armor of God: Christine Kerrick / Bible and sword: no attribution found

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