Book Reviews From 2015

Links & Quotes

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“Those of us who are married need to ponder again and again how mysterious and wonderful it is that God grants us in marriage the privilege to image forth stupendous divine realities infinitely bigger and greater than ourselves.” —John Piper

“Have we any work to do now that we can set about at once? If we have, whatsoever our hand finds to do, let us do it. Let us not be asking for greater abilities than we have. If we can get them, let us do so; but meanwhile let us use what we have. … The best preparation for it will be, renew your dedication to Christ, be much in earnest prayer, seek the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit, and then go forth in your Master’s strength with this as your resolve—that as portraits of Jesus Christ it shall be said of you, ‘He went about doing good’ [Acts 10:38].” —Charles Spurgeon

“The only difference between the Christian life and any other life is the matter of where we stand as we encounter the everyday trials and difficulties of life. … Even though the circumstances of a Christian’s life change, and even become adverse and cumbersome at times, this does not alter the fact that the Christian stands in—has access to, come what may—the glory of God. Believers may, under all circumstances and in every situation, slump down into the loving arms of the Lord and find glory and strength to help them bear up with joy and peace through even the worst life can throw at them.” —T.M. Moore

“Better to ask twice than to lose your way once.” —Danish Proverb

Sad to see how abortion providers target minority communities. Two-thirds of abortions in Michigan are done in the Detroit area, where only 40 percent of the state’s population is.

Eric Metaxas has some great advice for talking to your atheist friends about the problems with Darwin’s theories.

 

Links & Quotes

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“Paul says ‘whatever you do’—even down to such everyday things as taking a meal—do it in order to glorify God [1 Corinthians 10:31]. Apparently there are ways of using culture—our table manners, language, style of dress, way of working, how we drive our car and care for our homes, the use we make of TV and films, the emails we write, the phone calls in which we become involved, and all the rest of our culture—there are ways of using such everyday things that will allow us to signal to the world around us that we are aware of an obligation in such cultural activities that extends beyond our own puny selfish interests. We seek the glory of God in our use of culture.” —T.M. Moore

“To be fully free, we must have the desire, the ability, and the opportunity to do what will make us happy forever. No regrets. And only Jesus, the Son of God Who died and rose for us, can make that possible. If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed [John 8:31-32].” —John Piper

Here is what is sad to me, many people buy into what George Lord Byron wrote, speaking of Socrates: “Well didst thou speak, Athena’s wisest son, ‘All we know is nothing can be known.’” We can know through our relationship with Jesus Christ.

“Heaven will solve our problems, but not, I think, by showing us subtle reconciliations between all our apparently contradictory notions. The notions will all be knocked from under our feet. We shall see that there never was any problem.” —C.S. Lewis

“Pleasure is not a quick fix, it can be a thief, it will undermine happiness. Eventually, pleasure loses its pleasure and becomes a prison.” —Andy Stanley

If you have ever been hurt by your church, first of all: my heart breaks with yours … that should never have happened. But if it did, this post may help you in overcoming your hurt.

We must be in prayer! Every five minutes, a Christian is martyred for their faith somewhere in the world.

[VIDEO] J. Warner Wallace, a cold case detective, talks about how he uses his investigative skills to explain the origin of life from non-life—

 

Links & Quotes

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No matter how loving Christians are, and no matter how carefully we present our beliefs, people will still be offended. Check out this short video from Alan Shlemon at Stand To Reason.

“I am considering not how, but why, [God] makes each soul unique. If He had no use for all these differences, I do not see why He should have created more souls than one. Be sure that the ins and outs of your individuality are no mystery to Him; and one day they will no longer be a mystery to you. The mould in which a key is made would be a strange thing, if you had never seen a key: and the key itself a strange thing if you had never seen a lock. Your soul has a curious shape because it is a hollow made to fit a particular swelling in the infinite contours of the Divine substance, or a key to unlock one of the doors in the house with many mansions. For it is not humanity in the abstract that is to be saved, but you—you, the individual reader, John Stubbs or Janet Smith. Blessed and fortunate creature, your eyes shall behold Him and not another’s. All that you are, sins apart, is destined, if you will let God have His good way, to utter satisfaction.” —C.S. Lewis in The Problem Of Pain

“One doesn’t realize in early life that the price of freedom is loneliness. To be happy one must be tied.” —C.S. Lewis

Eric Metaxas asks, “What’s the difference between evolutionary theory and an octopus?” You will love his answer!

“We make a mistake as Christians if we hold the view that all non-Christian culture is worthless and should be avoided. This is simply not the case. God has given gifts for making culture to every human being, and very often those who do not know Him are capable of making artifacts, establishing institutions, or promoting conventions that actually are very useful for human flourishing. This is a measure of God’s common grace to all people. Believers must not despise such gifts, and we must not ignore or avoid them. … We do not repudiate those unbelieving aspects of culture which are good and useful. Rather, we appropriate all such forms, learning as much as we can about them and considering ways they might be put to use for the glory of God.” —T.M. Moore

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood wanted to rid society of “human weeds,” and in 1925 she wrote, “We must clear the way for a better world; we must cultivate our garden.” Read more here.

“There is no rule binding with iron force upon you, for we are not under law in Christ’s church, but under grace, and grace will prompt you to do more than law might suggest….” —Charles Spurgeon

“We wouldn’t dare rob somebody of his gold watch or bank account. Yet God states clearly that slandering someone’s name is robbery of the worst kind. And we can do it in the subtlest of ways: by pointing an accusing finger, questioning one’s character, passing on tidbits of gossip. Indeed, three of the most damning words we can speak are, ‘Have you heard?’ The mere suggestion of the question robs a person of something valuable. And it defiles our own mouth.” —David Wilkerson

Frank Turek has an interesting look at the Kim Davis situation in Kentucky.

12 Quotes From “In Light Of Genetics”

Dr. John SanfordDr. John Sanford’s ebook In Light Of Genetics is fascinating reading. It’s a bit technical in certain places, but I think Dr. Sanford does a good job making the genetic concepts accessible to almost anyone. Check out my book review by clicking here. Below are some quotes from this work.

“Forensic evidence is never conclusive, and so scientific claims about the distant past must always contain an element of belief. The direction of genetic change is down, not up. Humanity is devolving due to mutation.”

“We feel biological similarities between different kinds of life are better explained by a Common Designer than by common descent.”

“We are unique and alone now in the world. There is no other animal species that truly resembles our own. A physical and mental chasm separates us from all other living creatures. There is no other bipedal mammal. No other mammal controls and uses fire, writes books, travels in space, paints portraits, or prays. This not a question of degrees. It is all or nothing; there is no semi-bipedal animal, none that makes only small fires, writes only short sentences, builds only rudimentary spaceships, draws just a little bit, or prays just occasionally.” —Juan Arsuaga, writing in The Neanderthal’s Necklace

“Man is a singular creature. He has a set of gifts which make him unique among the animals: so that, unlike them, he is not a figure in the landscape—he is a shaper of the landscape.” —Jacob Bronowski

“From a genetic point of view, the genes that enable our unique capabilities, gifts, and talents (i.e., science, art, love, relation to God) could not arise by any series of random mutations filtered by natural selection—not in any amount of time. There is no credible mechanism that could lead to spontaneous origin of mind, consciousness, intelligence, soul, or spirit. Indeed, while these human traits are found within a biological context (i.e., within an animal-like body/brain), they clearly transcend mere biology. We are exquisitely programmed to be more than animals, and our bodies are well-designed vessels that house our immaterial being: mind, soul, and spirit.”

“Leading human geneticists agree that in mankind deleterious (bad) mutations are accumulating faster than they are being selected away, and so the human genome is degenerating. … The data are highly consistent. The coefficient of determination (matching the curve to the data) is very high: 0.96. Due to the consistency of the decay rate, we can also rule out the idea that there were hundreds (or thousands) of missing generations that were not recorded. We conclude that the genealogical record must either be complete or very nearly complete. This validation of the genealogical record very powerfully points to the historicity and reliability of the book of Genesis.”

“Mounting evidence shows that natural selection is not a creative force, but is a stabilizing force that helps preserve the various kinds of life (i.e., it culls out the most dysfunctional individuals). It is very clear that natural selection cannot create our genome, let alone our mind and soul. At best, natural selection can only slow down the rate of genetic degeneration. … Because of the great abundance of deleterious mutations and the extreme rarity of beneficial mutations, it is not possible for mankind to achieve a net gain of genetic information.”

“Our latest numerical simulations show that in the type of pre-human population that supposedly gave rise to modern man, billions of years would be required just to create and establish a new genetic text string as small as six or seven letters, such as ‘GTCGCT’ or ‘GAGTTCA.’ Yet such a string would be just a drop in the ocean of new information needed to transform an ape into a man.”

“In the biblical model, humanity begins with Adam and Eve, who descendants rapidly multiply, and then, went through a one-generation bottleneck at the time of the Flood, then the population once again rapidly increased, followed by rapid divergence at the Tower of Babel event, creating today’s people groups.”

“If Adam’s genome was intelligently designed, it would obviously have had a great number of designed genetic variants. Otherwise all people would essentially be clones of Adam and Eve, which would be bad design, for many obvious reasons. … Even though many mutations have accumulated in the genome during human history, it is reasonable to conclude that most observable human genetic variation was created by God. The biblical perspective has unique explanatory power in terms of giving a credible explanation for the amazing range of human traits and abilities. There is no single ‘superior genotype.’ We all have unique sets of gifts and talents, which very reasonably reflect good design, and for which we can give thanks to God.”

“We have statistically analyzed over 800 human mitochondrial sequences and have been able to reconstruct and publish a very close approximation of Eve’s mitochondrial sequence. We found that the average human being is only about 22 mutations removed from the Eve sequence, although some individuals are as much as 100 mutations removed from Eve. Can we account for this amount of mutation in a biblical timeframe? Easily. The most recent estimate of the mutation rate in human mitochondria is about 0.5 per generation. Thus, even for the most mutated sequences, it would only require 200 generations (less than 6,000 years) to accumulate 100 mutations.”

“Now, by God’s grace, we do not have to choose between faith in God’s Word vs. faith in science, we can embrace both. There is now very strong genetic evidence that strongly supports Scripture and refutes evolution.”

Links & Quotes

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“May the Lord increase your hunger and your thirst to see the face of God. And may He grant your desire through the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God.” —John Piper

Chuck Colson said, “It seems that everywhere—from Tennessee to Tokyo—religion is being permeated by a consumerist mentality.” Read more (or take a listen to Chuck’s broadcast) on Gimmie That Hot-Tub Religion.

My friend and mentor, Tom Kaastra, has an amazing new website called The Basics of Life—Help for your spiritual journey. Do yourself a favor, check out the site, and then subscribe so you can receive his wisdom each time he publishes something new.

Ken Davis has some good insights on handling the ups and downs of life.

Dr. Ben Carson sets the record straight on Planned Parenthood’s racist foundation. And Jayme Metztgar explains why abortion is the new slavery, giving three reasons why what Planned Parenthood is doing is morally wrong.

From Planned Parenthood’s own annual report, prenatal services—which have decreased—amount to 18,684 services. Out of the total 10,590,433 services then, pre-natal care accounts for less than 1 percent. For pregnant women who come to Planned Parenthood, 94 percent of them have an abortion. (h/t Live Action)

Where did life originateJ. Warner Wallace asks: Can naturalists [evolutionists] explain where life originated? Great apologetics for those who believe in a Creator or Intelligent Design.

David Wilkerson says there is a command from Jesus that far too many Christians ignore: “The King has told us to bind up the devil and cast him out of the banqueting hall. In short, we’re to rise up and take serious action against satan’s attacks on Christ’s Body.” Read more here.

In Light Of Genetics (ebook review)

Dr. John SanfordWhen I went to college, I went as a biomedical chemistry major. I began my collegiate education at a Christian liberal arts university, and then transferred to a very secular state university. Ever since that time, I have always been deeply interested in the scientific fields, especially biology. So I was excited to read Dr. John Sanford’s paper In Light Of Genetics: Adam, Eve and the Creation/Fall.

In my Christian education experience, the scale was slightly weighted in favor of a biblical view of Creation. In my state university experience, the scale was overwhelming tipped toward an evolutionary paradigm. At both universities, I had rather intense conversations with my professors and classmates about hard science viewed through a biblical paradigm. Dr. Sanford’s paper was an encouraging study to read because of its balance between science and the Bible.

You can read Dr. Sanford’s full paper by clicking here, but here are a few highlights for me:

  • Genetic evidence is pointing more and more toward the biblical description of Creation.
  • The “junk DNA” claim that Darwinists need to support their theories of evolution are being proven invalid.
  • There is clearly a “Mitochondrial Eve” whose DNA sequence is evident in living human beings today.
  • There is also a “Y Chromosome Adam” whose DNA sequence is equally as evident.
  • Molecular clocks point to a young genome for biological life.
  • The Y chromosomal differences between man and chimp are far greater than evolutionist theories predicted.
  • The genetic differences/similarities seen today fit perfectly with the account of the biblical Flood.

For all my geeky science friends, I will post some quotes from this paper soon.

Whether you are a geek or not, this is fascinating reading! I encourage my friends who hold Darwinist views to read this, and then let’s talk. I also encourage my Creationist friends to read this too, and use these studies to strengthen your apologetics.

Read more about Dr. Sanford and his work here.

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