04 February, 2019

27. Imago Dei: The Image of God as Dominion



27. Imago Dei: The Image of God as Dominion


"...Subdue [the earth], and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
—Genesis 1:28

This view sees us made in the image of God in that we share in His dominion over the earth.

The featured image is of a sign for sale at a Renn Faire. It jumped out at me because this NIA sentiment is exactly the opposite of what the Bible says, hearkening back to the battle of the worldviews.


We are to be good stewards of the earth. We are not to abuse or exploit its resources. But we are its lords. We have the God-given right to chop down a tree and build shelter from the elements. We have the God-given right to kill an animal for sustenance. We do not share equality with trees or animals.

What difference does this distinction make? What role does it play in the war?

We buy our oil from Saudi Arabia...a country that commits gross violations of human rights.

Image result for christian torture scars iranA Saudi Arabian blogger who speaks out on freedom was accused of apostasy and "insulting Islam" and sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 15 years in prison.

Women who are raped and can't identify their perpetrator are deemed guilty of adultery and sentenced to hundreds of lashes and years in prison.

Despite that freedom of religion, including the freedom to pray, is a basic right recognized under international human rights law, the Saudi government raids homes where Christians meet for prayer, beats them, and threatens them with death.



The country’s oil wealth has been used to fund mosques, charities and Islamic institutions worldwide, as well as radical Islamist groups. 15 of the 19 terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks in the US were Saudi.

But instead of drilling for oil in our own country, creating jobs, and boosting our own economy, we fund a country that rapes, tortures, and murders people because drilling in America would put polar bears at risk.


While the NIA complains of scars left on the land from thumper trucks searching for oil...


...persecuted Christians and other victims of human rights violations bear scars from torture for life.





Want to make a difference? 
Click here to send a letter of encouragement to a Persecuted Christian. 




Further Reading:

America must stand up for persecuted Christians in Saudi Arabia, India and around the world

Saudi Arabia's Crimes Against Christians

Western hypocrisy, Saudi Arabia and the persecution of Christians

Footnotes: 

The "quote" on the sign is falsely attributed to Indian Chief Seattle (who died in 1866), and has been widely quoted in books, on TV, and from the pulpit. A children’s book, Brother Eagle, Sister Sky: A Message From Chief Seattle (which sold 280,000 within the first six months of its 1991 issue). It actually originated from Ted Perry, the screenwriter for Home, a 1972 film about ecology.

Information on Saudi Arabia's Human Rights violations taken from "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2004". US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour.

Photo Credit: World Hands: Creative Commons / Polar Bear / Persecution Victims: Fair Use

31 January, 2019

26. Imago Dei: The Image of God as Counterpart


26. The Image of God as Counterpart




For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly... 
—Isaiah 57:15

Humans as God's counterpart implies that we are the relational partner for God, created for fellowship.

What does that even look like?

Think of a big wig CEO, like Mark Zuckerberg, gaming with the man who empties his trashcan.

Or the President of the United States having lunch with the guy who cleans the White House toilets.

And I don't mean a "cares for all humanity" fist-bump in passing for publicity photo. I mean, after a long day of work, the only think Mark or Mr. President WANTS to do is hang out with his janitor because they are best friends.

Humans were created for fellowship with God, but not as His peers.

He's the CEO. We are the toilet cleaner...though out job is not to clean toilets.

Except for our own.

Photo Credit: Toilet & Mark Zuckerberg: CC0


28 January, 2019

25. Imago Dei: The Image of God as Similarity


 25. Imago Dei: The Image of God as Similarity




The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.
—Exodus 33:11

The focus on the Image of God as Similarity is on the physical and emotional similarities people have with God.

Ancient Jewish sources hold to this interpretation:

 2 Enoch 44:1–3: The Lord with his own two hands created mankind; and in a facsimile of his own face. Small and great the Lord created. Whoever insults a person's face insults the face of the Lord; whoever treats a person's face with repugnance treats the face of the Lord with repugnance. Whoever treats with contempt the face of any person treats the face of the Lord with contempt. (There is) anger and judgement (for) whoever spits on a person's face.

2 Enoch 65:2: 2 And however much time there was went by. Understand how, on account of this, he constituted man in his own form, in accordance with a similarity. And he gave him eyes to see, ears to hear, and heart to think, and reason to argue.

Our ability to have compassion is because God is compassionate. Our ability to show mercy is because God is merciful. These attributes are what make us distinct from animals; we are not merely upright-walking primates.

While the Bible teaches that God is spirit and invisible (John 4:24, 1 Timothy 1:17), He evidently chooses to inhabit some sort of ethereal body when interacting with humans, as shown in Exodus 33:11 and other similar verses (Exodus 33:20, 23).

24 January, 2019

24. Imago Dei


24. Imago Dei



According to ReligionFacts.com, Christianity has been influenced by four definitions of the imago dei:

(1) The Image of God as Similarity (We have emotions, intelligence, etc).

(2) The Image of God as Counterpart (We are the relational partner for God, created for fellowship).

(3) The Image of God as Dominion (We are like God in that we share in His dominion over the earth).

(4) The Image of God as Representation (We are like God in that we are His representatives on earth).

We will look at each of these definitions over the next four blog posts.

Beyond Genesis 1:26-28, here are a few other verses describing humans as made in the image of God: Genesis 5:13, Genesis 9:5-6, Psalm 8, 1 Corinthians 11:7, and James 3:9.

Photo Credit: Mud Man CC2.0 / Hands CCO.

21 January, 2019

23. Breath of Life


23. Breath of Life




Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul. 
Genesis 2:7

The word soul in Hebrew is nephesh, meaning “an animated, breathing, conscious, and living being.”

Man did not become a living soul until God breathed life into him.

In Genesis 6:17, "breath" in the phrase "breath of life" is the Hebrew word ruwach,which means “wind, breath, air, spirit.” It is the word translated all throughout the Old Testament in the phrase the Spirit of God, and in the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament) as well as the New Testament, it is the word translated in the phrase Holy Spirit.




Photo Credit: Copyright ©Bill Osborne. Used with Permission. / Video: Great Are You Lord by Casting Crowns.

17 January, 2019

22. From Mud


From Mud


"We're filth! We're filth! We come from filth, we're going to filth, we're filth!"


"The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground..."
—Genesis 2:7a

Infamous NIA evangelist Richard Dawkins purports: "Mud, in the form of clay, may have learned to replicate and eventually the process led to the creation of the famous DNA double helix and life itself."

Dawkins arrives at this conclusion because clay has one of the essential requirements for life – reproduction. His proposition is based on the proposal by Scottish chemist Graham Cairns-Smith, who first proposed his theory in 1966 but further studies in 2007 and 2013 backed the principles.

Most recently Biological Engineers from Cornell University's department for Nanoscale Science in New York state agreed clay 'might have been the birthplace of life on Earth'.

Once again, we see the difference is in the interpretation of the science (time and first cause), not the science itself. “Over billions of years, chemicals confined in those spaces could have carried out the complex reactions that formed proteins, DNA and eventually all the machinery that makes a living cell work."


Or...a First Cause could have formed those proteins and DNA in a single day when He formed man.

Ironically coincidental that if it wasn't God, but happened as the NIA theorizes, that ancient man coincidentally guessed correctly when making up the Mesopotamian just-so story.

Research and quotes taken by the article, Revealed: How life on earth began - and the answer is even crazier than you thought by  Paul Baldwin. Aug 17, 2017.

Photo Credit: Filth People: Screenshot from The Tick vs Filth / DNA: Public Domain / Clay Hands: Creative Commons

14 January, 2019

21. From Apes


21. From Apes



"All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men (humans), another flesh of beasts (primates), another of fishes, and another of birds." 
1 Corinthians 15:39


Since bananas share about 50% of their DNA with humans, does that mean bananas are half human?


Do similarities between the skeletal features of  Australopithecus (Lucy) to chimpanzees and humans point to a common ancestor or a common Designer?

With no way scientifically answer that question (we can't observe species-to-species evolution and we can't observe God creating a species), we must resort to our belief system or world view.

NIA Scientists believe that primates and humans evolved/descended from a common primate ancestor (primate-kind).

Creation Scientists believe that primates evolved/descended from a common primate ancestor (primate-kind), and humans evolved/descended from a common human ancestor (human-kind).


In this picture, different types of primates are lined up by size and speculated erect statue along with Neanderthal Man, Cro Magnon Man and modern humans. The NIA then claims this line-up proves each one evolved into the next.

Remember post 19. Animal-Kinds and Common Descent? that featured the following Dog Kind image?


In essence, this NIA line-up of primate-kinds and human-kinds, if redone for dog-kinds, is claiming a small dog evolves into large dog and then into a dingo a then into a coyote and then into a wolf.

Swordcraft Tip: Highlight 1 Corinthians 15:39 in your designated spiritual warfare color.

Photo Credit: Monkey Selfie: Creative Commons / Banana Monster: Free Stock Photos / Lucy: Public Domain / Human Evolution: Answers in Genesis / Dog-Kinds: Answers in Genesis

10 January, 2019

20. Who is We?


20. Who is We?



"Let us make mankind in our image, after our likeness." 
—Genesis 1:26

Many believe the "we" in Gen 1:26 is the royal "we" or majestic plural, which is when a plural (we, us, our) is used to refer to a single person who is a monarch. (This is similar to the editorial "we," such as when a small business run by one person says, "You can reach us at..." or "Our hours of operation are....")

However, the majestic plural is not the original (i.e. Jewish) understanding. The Jewish understanding was that God was referring to His wisdom.

"The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be." —Proverbs 8:22-23 (It is generally agreed that Proverbs was written by Solomon, son of King David, nearly 1000 years before Jesus was born.)


Philo of Alexandria (who predated the Apostle John’s use of Logos and begotten by over 50 years) identifies the Logos with wisdom in Proverbs 8:22 (De Ebrietate, 31), and calls the Logos “the eldest son,” and “the first-begotten of God.” See Philo’s On the Confusion of Tongues, 63 and 146 respectively.

Some 50 years later, the Apostle John identifies Jesus as this logos and God's begotten, and confirms his role in Creation.



Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." —John 1:3

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, written even before John's gospel (but also post-Philo), also confirms Jesus' role in Creation.

"For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him." —Colossians 1:16

Nevertheless, wisdom/the logos/the pre-incarnate Christ is not the Creator; throughout scripture, that magnanimous role is always attributed to God the Father.

Swordcraft Tip: Highlight Proverbs 8:22-23, John 1:3, and Colossians 1:16 in your dedicated spiritual warfare color.

Photo Credit: Image of Philo under Public Domain / Book of Wisdom by Máté Molnár, licensed under Creative Commons

07 January, 2019

19: Animal-Kinds and Common Descent


19. Animal Kinds and Common Descent



And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. —Genesis 1:24-25

According to the NIA*, "methodological naturalism is a 'ground rule' of science today" that "requires scientists to seek explanations in the world around us based upon what we can observe, test, replicate, and verify." (emphasis mine)

So the NIA requires that science (specifically naturalism) be observable.

Do we observe evolution? Yup!

Take the dog "kind" for example.

We observe evolution all the time with both natural selection (nature's breeding) and man-made selection (intentional breeding, such as all the new "designer dogs").

A chihuahua can evolve from a wolf (over long periods of time).

We observe a LOSS of information.

A wolf cannot evolve from a chihuahua (over any period of time).

We do not observe a GAIN of  new information.

And yet, the NIA would have you believe that observing a LOSS of information (micro-evolution) proves a GAIN of new information (macro-evolution).

In other words, because dogs can evolve into other types of dogs (micro-evolution), one species can evolve into another type of species (macro-evolution), such as a primate-type can evolve UPWARDS into man (a GAIN of information).

But this breaks the NIA's required rule of science.

What else breaks the NIA's required rule of science? A single-cell organism that adapts/mutates/evolves into amphibians and then reptiles and then birds or primate-type creatures that then adapt/mutate/evolve into human beings.

We do not observe this.

Ever.

Think about that. To use observable loss of information (microevolution) to prove non-observable gain of information (macroevolution) is not scientific.

We cannot scientifically prove that one species turns into another. We cannot scientifically prove new information evolution. We can believe this happens, but by the NIA's standards, we cannot prove it.

Now, by NIA standards, we also cannot prove a first cause. We cannot prove God created individual animal kinds (such as a dog kind, a cat kind, a primate kind). But happily, creationist scientists do not adhere to a "we must scientifically prove the existence of God or He does not exist" rule. What they do adhere to is the NIA's "science must be observable" rule. Thus, they believe in micro-evolution (change within species) but do not believe in macro-evolution (change from one species to another species).

Note: Sometimes things are mislabeled a gain. Take for instance cockroaches that become resistant to a certain pesticide. It's not that the next generation gained NEW information, it's that natural selection weeded out the non-resistant cockroaches.

Further Reading:

Non-religious articles on Alternatives to Universal Common Descent / macro-evolution:

A Big Problem for Common Descent: Hundreds of "Active ‘Foreign’ Genes" Don’t Fit the Standard Evolutionary Phylogeny 

Some Problems in Proving the Existence of the Universal Common Ancestor of Life on Earth 

Creationist articles on micro-evolution:

Variety Within Created Kinds

Created Kinds (Baraminology)

*Quote is sworn testimony in court by expert witness Robert T. Pennock, an anti-Creationist and anti-Intelligent Design professor with a PhD in history and philosophy of science.

Photo Credit: Cat Kinds: Answers in Genesis / Dog Kinds: Answers in Genesis / Macro Micro Evolution Figure 4.8 (Makroevolution vs Mikroevolution) from Evolution Ein kritisches Lehrbuch. Used with permission.

03 January, 2019

18. Darwin's Finches


18. Darwin's Finches



And God said..."Let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created...every winged bird according to its kind.
—Genesis 1:20-21

Yes, Creationist scientists believe in Darwin's Finches.

They also believe in speciation, adaptation, mutation, and yes, even evolution (i.e. slow changes over long periods of time within species—more on this in the next post). Many even believe an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs (more on this on another post). As I said before, the biggest difference between the Bible and evolution is time and first cause. The science is the same...it's the interpretation of the scientific evidence that varies.

What may really surprise you is that it's NOT a religious argument.

There are many NIA scientists that believe in a first cause (an unknown, intelligent designer*), and many NIA scientists that believe in catastrophism (example: grand canyon carved by catastrophe, rather than by uniformitarianism)...solely based on observable, repeatable science. It only becomes "religious" when Creationist scientists give the first cause intelligent designer the name God (as in the Judaeo-Christian God of the three monotheistic faithsJudaism, Christianity, and Islam), or label a particular cataclysm as one described in the Bible (as in Noah's flood).





*Intelligent Design (ID) was started by non-Christians who saw organized purpose in the world rather than random chance. ID is not Creation Science in disguise, in fact many Creation Science organizations are highly critical of it. ID scientists simply believe that the complexity o the natural world could NOT have occurred by change. They feel the evidence points to an intelligent entity, but that entity could be anyone or anything. 

Further Reading:

Intelligent Design: It's a Creationist Plot

Intelligent Design is not Creationism


Photo Credit: Public Domain

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