Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review (Part 8 of 8)

"O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called "knowledge," for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you."
- 1 Timothy 6:20,21

This is the closing of the review of John Walton's THE LOST WORLD OF GENESIS 1. My hope is that the viewer of this blog will take the time to read all eight parts. It should take one less than twenty minutes. Feedback would be much appreciated.

I am a simple man. I have a simple faith. I've never been to a seminary. But I read my Bible every day, and completely through every year (going on eight times now, I think). I say this not to boast, but to make clear that these are not simply my "personal opinions," nor do I believe it to be of my own accord. I study. I meditate. I pray. I listen to lots of sermons, and I read lots of old authors and old books - but also some new. The LORD has given me a passion to know Him. The spirit of Christ dwells in me by grace through faith, and I believe God. And, "if I am not convinced by proof from the Holy Scripture, or by cogent reason" (Martin Luther), I will stand here upon the old gospel, the old truth, the old faith - that never ever grows old.

Therefore, after much study and finding so many problems with Walton's view, and being prayerfully sensitive to what I believe to be the leading of the Holy Spirit, I must reject Walton's teaching as false - as from the evil one - and heed the clear words of my Lord...

2 Timothy 3:14,15 
"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."

James 1:21
"Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls."

Lastly, while this topic is of vital importance, for it concerns the gospel, there is the possibility of becoming preoccupied with debating what has already happened. I believe it would be more profitable for us to lay our hands on our mouths and humbly receive the historical narrative by faith. For indeed, where were we when the Almighty laid the foundation of the earth? Let us simply trust and obey, and heed the words of our Master: "Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest" (John 4:25).

I hope this was helpful. May God protect the reader from any error proclaimed herein. The LORD is faithful and has promised to guide His children "into all truth" (John 16:13). Let us trust Him as we pray for one another.

As all, when Adam sinned alone,
In his transgression died,
So by the righteousness of One,
Are sinners justified,
We to Thy merit, gracious Lord,
With humblest joy submit,
Again to Paradise restored,
In Thee alone complete.

Our souls His watchful love retrieves,
Nor lets them go astray,
His righteousness to us He gives,
And takes our sins away:
We claim salvation in His right,
Adopted and forgiv’n,
His merit is our robe of light,
His death the gate of Heav’n.


Your Servant in Christ,

Marty L. Smith

Friday, June 20, 2014

Review (Part 7 of 8)

Isaiah 44
24 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: "I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,
25 who frustrates the signs of liars and makes fools of diviners, who turns wise men back and makes their knowledge foolish...

As I wrap up the review, I appeal to The Word...

F.  Conclusions.

Finally, let us look again as we always should to our Savior Christ Jesus - "For from him and through him and to him are all things" (Rom. 11:36). 

1 Corinthians 15
39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.
40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another.
41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.
43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
45 Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.
47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.
49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the manof heaven.

This analogy the Apostle Paul makes, also in Romans 5, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, completely breaks down if what Walton says is true; so it cannot be. God cannot lie. This is the order that God has established. This is what God has done. It is what it is, and no other ancient texts can change it. It is truth, it is for our good, and God would have us accept it by faith. Adam was the representative of and for all his posterity. Jesus was the representative of and for all the elect. These are appointments of God. This is the economy of God. What God has joined together let no man put asunder. One was tempted in the garden, and succumbed. The Other was tempted in the wilderness, and succeeded. This is all about the glory of Christ, and our understanding of Him, His work, and all His facets! The sheep do not listen to the robbers of His glory. 

One of the wonders of it all is that Christ Jesus, the King of kings, would become flesh, become the last Adam, and dwell among us - among sinners like me - to deliver, to save, to redeem, to become sin for us, "...that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:21). Adam was our head, our representative. We were condemned and by nature children of wrath, dead in our sin, cursed by the law, and bruised by the fall. But now, we who have been born again have Christ Jesus our Lord in our stead! So let us then be steadfast! We have a new representative in the courts of God! To Him be glory forever and ever!!! Hallelujah!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Review (Part 6 of 8)

"Your first father sinned, and your mediators transgressed against me." 
- Isaiah 43:27

Below is Part 6 of my review of Walton's heresy:

E.  Corroborations.

Concerning Walton's propositions, below are a few comments that corroborate my review:

"Walton’s view was, in my assessment, far too difficult, depending on explaining away so much of what the Bible makes clear. It was as if he was constantly saying, 'I know the Bible says this, but it actually means this other thing.' His view, too, threatens to undermine our confidence in the biblical text and depends far too heavily on other literature from the ancient near east."
- Tim Challies (taken from his review of Four Views on the Historical Adamhttp://www.challies.com/book-reviews/four-views-on-the-historical-adam; but is a clear assessment of Walton's practice.)

"In evaluating Walton’s claims, we must apply the usual rules of hermeneutics and, particularly, that Scripture must be used to interpret Scripture. Our interpretation of any one passage must be such that it is harmonious with and sits comfortably with our interpretation of related passages. This could not be said of Walton’s exposition of Genesis."
- Dominic Statham (http://creation.com/review-walton-the-lost-world-of-genesis-one)

Note: Walton never adequately addresses the problems of his propositions in light of many other texts in the Bible on this subject, especially Genesis 2, Genesis 3, 1 Corinthians 15, Romans 5, and Hebrews 11. I will briefly address that further below. But one can find a smorgasbord of great articles defending the historicity of Adam at the following link... 

I found the following especially intriguing, for it confirmed my beliefs, and my suspicions:

"First of all, who is Dr. John Walton?  He is a professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College.  He has taught at Wheaton since 2001.  He’s written many books and articles including The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate.  Furthermore, he is on the Board of Advisors for BioLogos... BioLogos actively holds to and promotes theistic evolution:  'We believe that God created the universe, the earth, and all life over billions of years…We believe that the diversity and interrelation of all life on earth are best explained by the God-ordained process of evolution withcommon descent.'"

Note: I wholeheartedly agree with Wes Bredenhof's review above. Please go to the link to read it in its entirety, and consider Bredenhof's words in light of the truth that... the same Spirit that leads us unto truth... is the same Spirit that led our trusted and tested fathers of old. 

"[Theistic evolution] is really a child of embarrassment which calls God in at periodic intervals to help nature over the chasms that yawn at her feet. It is neither the Biblical doctrine of creation, nor a consistent theory of evolution, for evolution is defined as 'a series of gradual progressive changes effected by means of resident forces' (Le Conte). In fact, theistic evolution is a contradiction in terms. It is just as destructive of faith in the Biblical doctrine of creation as naturalistic evolution is; and by calling in the creative activity of God time and again it also nullifies the evolutionary hypothesis." 
- Louis Berkhof (Systematic Theology)

Note: Walton's theistic evolution, free from "permutations" (p.119), is simply compromise at its best... or worst.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Review (Part 5 of 8)

A continuing review of Walton's theistic evolution book...

D.  Material Existence without Functionality

According to Walton's view, God materially created the world slowly through what humans have called the evolutionary process, but it was not "functional" as being part of His "cosmic temple" until a date in time. I did not become articulately conscious of the problem of this view until my recent reading of some of Wendell Berry's work. It made me wonder if Walton had ever actually gone for a walk in the woods. 

The Psalmist says, "...the sky above proclaims His handiwork." The Apostle Paul writes, "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made..." And Isaiah wrote that the seraphim said to one another, "...the whole earth is full of his glory!" It is not possible that these mighty works of our Creator God could ever materially exist without functionally glorifying Him!

This is for the most part an experiential argument from me. Having grown up in the foothills of the Appalachians - camping, hunting, fishing, and logging hundreds of miles in my boots in the woods and fields of my ancestors - I am astonished that one could imagine any form or part of this glorious creation ever being dysfunctional. But it was in reading the following short paragraph from Berry that my heart said, "YES!" and I found great support for my claim:

"The most exemplary nature is that of the topsoil. It is very Christ-like in its passivity and benevolence, and in the penetrating energy that issues out of its peaceableness. It increases by experience, by the passage of seasons over it, growth rising out of it and returning to it, not by ambition or aggressiveness. It is enriched by all things that die and enter into it. It keeps the past, not as history or as memory, but as richness, new possibility. Its fertility is always building up out of death into promise. Death is the bridge or the tunnel by which its past enters its future."
- Wendell Berry, THE ART OF THE COMMONPLACE, Part 1

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mark Levin - How Presidents Handle Deserters

From therightscoop.com...

Obama likes to compare himself to other presidents. So in light of the exchange of five Taliban generals for a deserter, Levin decided to look back at a couple of war presidents to see how they handled deserters.

Click here to hear the clip from Mark Levin

Toward the end, Levin had this to say:
We’ve never had a president like this, never, who’s had such disregard for what is the heart and soul of this country. And such disrespect for all of our ancestors, wherever they come from, whomever they are, who built this nation.