Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Moving On To A New Blog

Hello everyone!  I have both good news and sad news, and social customs dictates that I share the sad news first.

The sad news is that I will no longer be posting to this blog anymore.  I opened the TTOR Blog here on Blogger in September of 2013, and I had a lot of good memories of writing posts for this blog.  I will keep this site up so that I can remember where I started on this whole apologetics journey, and so you can read these posts I wrote.

The good news is that I have created a new TTOR blog on wordpress, and it is now up and running.  I will be trying to post to this blog several times per week as an effort to get back to my roots and be a blogger as well as a video content creator.  You can find the new TTOR blog here.

I look forward to seeing all of you there! 

Justin Derby,

Founder of Truth: The Objective Reality

Friday, April 6, 2018

Video Update #1: Easter Video and Leaving Facebook Video

Hello there, Everyone!  For those of you who missed my Easter Special last weekend, here is the video, which talks about the death and Resurrection of Jesus:

If you haven't heard, I will be leaving Facebook on April 23.  If you want to know why, check out the following video:

I look forward to seeing you in the next post!  You can follow me on the following platforms:


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Long-Awaited Update, and What Is Next For TTOR

Hello everyone!  So much has happened in this ministry since my last post in February, and it's time that we reflect on what has happened, as well as update you on where this ministry is headed going forward.

Over the past 11 months, the Truth: The Objective Reality ministry has gone from being a blog with a YouTube Channel as a supplement, to becoming primarily a video ministry that up until recently has been primarily using YouTube to create and share apologetics videos.  At the moment, the YouTube channel has 177 uploads; as a result of self-promoting each and every one of those uploads like crazy, the YouTube channel currently has 315 subscribers and 27,264 views.  To put things in perspective, back in December of 2016, we had only 36 subscribers, and a small fraction of the channel views we have now.  It's been a great season of growth.

During this period of time, I myself have done five different podcasts with multiple apologists, I've given a presentation on the historical Jesus at the January 2017 meeting for the Institute for Creation Science, and I've become so well-known among young earth creationists on Facebook that some of them think I should do formal debates against evolutionists.

Not all is well though; It has come to my attention in recent months that YouTube has started to censor small channels and larger channels alike.  Back in August, we found out that YouTube has a new policy that allows them to put videos containing "controversial religious content" into a special limbo so that almost nobody can see it even if the video doesn't actually violate any YouTube rules.  You can watch my video on the topic here:

On top of YouTube's new policies about censoring controversial religious content, I personally found out that YouTube has been going hard after the small channels of my friends in the Doom SnapMap community.  FNSGaming, who had a few hundred subscribers on their YouTube channel, woke up one day to find that their channel had been given three community guideline violation strikes and had their channel shut down overnight without any warning or explanation given.  Rockhardgamer 45, who has over 500 subscribers on his YouTube channel, had his channel slapped with two community guidelines violation strikes overnight without any warning or explanation provided, and his channel is on the verge of being shut down.  Z Mann Zilla, who has over 260 subscribers, has lots of his videos getting de-monetized and re-monetized all the time without any explanations provided, just like on my TTOR channel.  If you want to see what some of them have to say on YouTube censorship, here are some of their videos:

The point in discussing what YouTube is doing to my Doom SnapMap friends is that since the TTOR channel is a small channel like theirs, and since YouTube is already messing around with the monetization of my videos, the reality is that one day, I could wake up and find out that YouTube has deleted the TTOR channel without any warnings or explanations provided.  All those countless hours spent filming and producing 177 uploads will have been for naught because they all got taken away in an instant.  Clearly YouTube is not a safe platform to be on.

Since YouTube is not a safe platform to be on anymore, I needed to find a good alternative video site to upload TTOR content to.  I tried GodTube for a while, but I didn't like how outdated GodTube's video player was, and I didn't like the fact that I would have to spend hours trying to make my content low-def enough to run properly on GodTube's website, so I left GodTube.  Then I heard from my Doom SnapMap friends that they were going to migrate over to a new video site called Vidme.  I followed them over to Vidme.

When I decided to look at Vidme to see what videos and channels they had for apologetics and creationism, I was almost horrified to see that there is almost no apologetics or creationist presence on Vidme whatsoever.  None of the apologetics ministries that I follow on YouTube, with the exception of Acts17Apologetics, have channels and uploads on Vidme.  Instead, I found that when I looked up apologetics and creationism topics on Vidme, the only thing I found was the videos and channels of internet atheists and skeptics from YouTube making fun of and attacking apologetics and creationism.   When I saw that, God and I agreed that TTOR needed to have a presence on Vidme, and so I created a channel for TTOR on Vidme.

Since YouTube censorship will only get worse, and since Vidme is a growing alternative to YouTube, the plan for the Truth: The Objective Reality ministry is to eventually transition completely from YouTube to Vidme.  We will eventually stop posting videos to YouTube (if they don't shut us down first), and Vidme will become the primary site where TTOR videos are uploaded to and shared with others.  However, there's a catch.

As a new channel on Vidme, our channel has a weekly upload limit of 3 GB per week, and we can't upload a video that is longer than 30 minutes.  In order to do away with those limitations, we need to become a verified member on Vidme.  In order to be eligible to become a verified member, the TTOR channel needs to have at least 50 followers.  Please help us today by creating a profile/channel on Vidme, and then follow us on Vidme by clicking on the follow button.

We have the potential to start the apologetics and Christian presence on Vidme that exists on YouTube, but it's going to take each and every one of you to help make that happen.  As Vidme continues to grow, if we can show other Christian ministries and churches that there is an audience for them over on Vidme, they'll start flocking over to Vidme, and we can put out enough content to counter what the unbelievers and skeptics who are already on Vidme are putting out.

Our Vidme channel link:

Friday, February 3, 2017

Did Paul Assume The Authority of Scripture In Acts 17?

Paul's speech to the Athenians in Acts 17 is one of the most well-known passages in the New Testament, and for some, in the entire Bible.  Acts 17 is so popular that apologist David Wood named his ministry Acts 17 Apologetics.  However, some people twist Paul's speech in Acts 17 to fit their talking points and agendas.  For example, in his article Why Andy Stanley Is Right About The Foundation of Christianity And How To Defend It, the heretical apologist Frank Turek said the following:

"It is true that Jesus did quote Scripture with folks who already accepted the authority of the Old Testament. But when He spoke to unbelievers (the woman at the well, the rich young ruler, Pilate, and the thief on the cross), Jesus wasn’t firing Bible verses at them while assuming the authority of Scripture. Likewise, Paul didn’t assume the authority of Scripture or quote from it when speaking to the Athenians (Acts 17), but attempted to find common ground with them, even quoting their own poets and recognizing their 'unknown God' beliefs, in order to connect them with the true God and the truth of the Resurrection."

Notice what Frank Turek said about Paul's speech in Acts 17; he's claiming that not only did Paul not directly quote from scripture in his speech, but he didn't even assume the authority of scripture in his speech.

I don't deny that Paul quoting their poets and acknowledging their "unknown god" idol was Paul's attempt to find common ground with them; he was probably trying to show them that he wasn't some ignorant fool off the street who didn't know anything about their beliefs.  But to say that Paul didn't assume the authority of scripture in his speech is sheer lunacy, and I'm going to show you today why it's sheer lunacy.

Paul's Speech In Acts 17

Here is Paul's entire speech in Acts 17:

Acts 17:22-31:   "Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: 'People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.  For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.  And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.  From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.  God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.  "For in him we live and move and have our being."  As some of your own poets have said, "We are his offspring."

Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.  In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.  For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.'"

Now that we've got Paul's entire speech here, let's take a closer look at what he's saying in verses 24-31.

Breaking Down Paul's Speech

In verse 24, Paul is making references to Isaiah, Deuteronomy, and 1 Kings:

Isaiah 42:5:  "This is what God the Lord says—the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it..."

Isaiah 66:1-2:  "This is what the Lord says: 'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.  Where is the house you will build for me?  Where will my resting place be?  Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?' declares the Lord."

Deuteronomy 10:14:  "To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it."

1 Kings 8:27:  "But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!"

In verse 25, Paul makes a reference to the Psalms:

Psalm 50:9-12:  "I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.  I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine.  If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it."

In verse 26, Paul refers to Deuteronomy and Job:

Deuteronomy 32:7-9:  "Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past.  Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.  When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel.  For the Lord’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance."

Job 12:23:  "He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them."

In verse 27, Paul refers to Deuteronomy, Isaiah, and Jeremiah:

Deuteronomy 4:7:  "What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?"

Isaiah 55:6:  "Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near."

Jeremiah 23:23-24:  "'Am I only a God nearby,' declares the Lord, 'and not a God far away?  Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?' declares the Lord'Do not I fill heaven and earth?' declares the Lord."

In verse 28, Paul refers to Deuteronomy, Job, and Daniel:

Deuteronomy 30:19-20:  "This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."

Job 12:10:  "In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind."

Daniel 5:22-24:  "But you, Belshazzar, his son, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this.  Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways.  Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription."

In verse 29, Paul refers to Isaiah:

Isaiah 40:18-20:  "With whom, then, will you compare God?  To what image will you liken him?  As for an idol, a metalworker casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it.  A person too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot; they look for a skilled worker to set up an idol that will not topple."

In verse 31, Paul makes multiple references to the Psalms:

Psalm 9:7-8:  "The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment.  He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity."

Psalm 96:13:  "Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness."

Psalm 98:9:  "let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.  He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity."


As we can see, just about everything Paul said in his speech in Acts 17 makes multiple references to scores of passages and verses in the Old Testament.  That's odd.  I seem to remember Frank Turek saying that Paul did not assume the authority of scripture. 

While it is certainly true that Paul wasn't giving direct quotes from the Old Testament in his speech, that fact that just about everything he says makes multiple references to scores of passages and verses in the Old Testament shows that Paul absolutely WAS assuming the authority of the scriptures when he was talking to the Athenians in Acts 17; he simply paraphrased the scriptures into words that the Athenians could understand. 

Is Frank Turek even aware of all the Old Testament references that Paul makes in his Acts 17 speech?  If he is aware, then how on Earth does Turek justify saying that Paul did not assume the authority of scripture?  How does making multiple references to scores of Old Testament passages not qualify as assuming the authority of the scriptures?

If you've been following the blog for a while, you know that I've written two blog posts about Frank Turek (Does Denying Young Earth Creationism Make Someone A Heretic? and Frank Turek Slides Further Into Apostasy) as well as a video blog about his arguments against Young Earth Creationism; Frank Turek was even the primary subject of my December 4, 2016 podcast on Old Earth Creationism with Jay Hall.  In that podcast, I pointed out that there were a lot of things wrong with Frank Turek's article that I quoted at the beginning of this post.  Frank Turek's claim that Paul did not assume the authority of scripture in his speech in Acts 17 was one of those things. 

If the heresies that Frank Turek has committed in video and writing wasn't enough of a reason to stop following and endorsing him, I hope his false claim about Acts 17 gives you an additional reason.

If you would like to see me respond to Marie Wood's interpretation of Paul's speech in Acts 17, be sure to check out the following video:

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Friday, December 9, 2016

The Age of The Earth and Universe Revisited

Back in January of 2015, I released a blog post titled Just How Old Is The Earth & Universe?, where I showed that when you add together the genealogies and time-spans presented by scripture, you come up with an Earth and Universe that are 5,909 years old.  Something that I didn't say in the article (but that I told people who I shared the article with) was that I was not sure that I had found every possible genealogy and time span in scripture, and that I was open to amending what I had previously written.  Lo and behold, I recently found out while sitting in church that I had missed a couple hundred years in scripture.

What I am going to do in this article is I am going to lay out the scriptures I used in the blog post mentioned above, and I am going to add the missing data, which will be written in bold to make it obvious what was missing before.  With that being said, let's get this party started.

How Old Does The Bible Say That The Earth & Universe Are?

As we all know, God created Adam on the sixth day of creation.  When Adam was 130, he had a son named Seth (Genesis 5:3).  When Seth was 105, he had a son named Enosh (Genesis 5:6).  When Enosh was 90, he had a son named Kenan (Genesis 5:9).  When Kenan was 70, he had a son named Mahalalel (Genesis 5:12).  When Mahalalel was 65, he had a son named Jared (Genesis 5:15).  When Jared was 162, he had a son named Enoch (Genesis 5:18).  When Enoch was 65, he had a son named Methuselah (Genesis 5:21).  When Methuselah was 187, he had a son named Lamech (Genesis 5:25).  When Lamech was 182, he had Noah (Genesis 5:28).  When Noah was 500, he had sons named Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Genesis 5:32).

Noah was 600 years old when the Flood happened (Genesis 6:6), which means that 100 years had passed between when God warned him about it, and when it actually happened.  According to Genesis 8:13, Noah was 601 when the water from the flood had completely receeded.  According to Genesis 11:10, Shem became the father of Arphaxad two years after the flood.  When Arphaxad was 35, he became the father of Shelah (Genesis 11:12).  When Shelah was 30, he had a son named Eber (Genesis 11:14).  When Eber was 34, he had a son named Peleg (Genesis 11:16).  When Peleg was 30, he had a son named Reu (Genesis 11:18).  When Reu was 32, he had a son named Serug (Genesis 11:20).  When Serug was 30, he had a son named Nahor (Genesis 11:22).  When Nahor was 29, he had a son named Terah (Genesis 11:24).  When Terah was 70, he had Abram, Nahor (a different one), and Haran (Genesis 11:26).  When Abram was 100, he had Isaac (Genesis 21:5).  When Isaac was 60 years old, Jacob and Esau were born (Genesis 25:24-26).  When Jacob was 130 years old, he and the rest of the Israelites moved to the region of Goshen in Egpyt (Genesis 47:27-28).

In Exodus 12:40, we read the following:

“Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years.”

In other words, 430 years passed between Jacob and the Israelites moving to Egypt, and the actual Exodus from Egypt.

In 1 Kings 6:1, we read the following:

“In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the Lord.”

In other words, the Exodus to the fourth year of King Solomon’s reign was 480 years.

The fourth year of King Solomon’s reign was 966 BC, and the book of Malachi was written shortly after 433 BC, so that’s a span of 533 years.

The time between the book of Malachi and the birth of Jesus was from 433-5 BC, a span of 428 years.

Luke 3:23 says that Jesus was 30 years old when he began his ministry, and we know from studying the Gospels that Jesus' ministry lasted three years, so Jesus was 33 when he was crucified, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven.

Since this is the year 2016, that would mean that 1,983 years have passed since Jesus ascended to heaven.

When you add all that up, we find that the universe and the Earth are both 6,126 years old.  Most Young Earth Creationists round it down to 6,000 years in order to make it simple for the sake of argumentation.


As we can see, even students of the Bible like myself can make mistakes or miss key pieces of information when dealing with a subject that requires as much careful reading and digging as this one did.  It took me 23 months after the initial blog post to figure out that I had missed some crucial information.  At this point, I am pretty sure that I actually have all the different genealogies and time spans provided by scripture, but if you find in your study of scripture that I missed something, please let me know.

With all that being said, all that the missing 217 years did was raise the age of the Earth and Universe of my previous post from being a little under 6,000 years to a little over 6,000 years.  In fact, the missing 217 years shows that there are absolutely ZERO gaps in the time-span between Adam's creation and the birth of Jesus; this is why those in the church who oppose the clear Biblical teaching of a 6,000-year-old Earth and universe (namely Old Earth Creationists) are forced to try and insert their billions-of-years belief into the creation account contained in Genesis 1:1-2:3.

To see why the Old Earth Creationist's attempts to fit billions of years into the creation account absolutely fails, watch my recent podcast with Jay Hall below:

In the meantime, while I go to work preparing for my January 22, 2017 presentation at the Institute for Creation Science, and while I work on other projects related to other apologetics topics, I will try to post another written blog post on here before the end of the year.  The subject of my next written post will be about false claims that Frank Turek made in September regarding Paul and Jesus not assuming the authority of scripture in their conversations with Gentiles. 

Until next time, God bless.   

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Frank Turek Slides Further Into Apostacy

Back in July, I created a video blog responding to Frank Turek's objections against Young Earth Creationism, which ended up being a 53-minute smack-down where I rarely had to venture outside the Bible to refute Turek's arguments.  You can view the smack-down here:

At the end of the video blog, I called Frank Turek a heretic because he was clearly going against what God said about when and how he made the universe and everything in it.  Some of the people who saw my video blog did not like the fact that I called Frank Turek a heretic, so I made a written blog post in August titled Does Denying Young Earth Creationism Make Someone A Heretic? to explain how exactly Frank Turek was a heretic.

Recently, Andy Stanley, a mega-church pastor, said that the Bible was impossible to defend from beginning to end in terms of its historical and origins claims, and that we should just focus on the New Testament and Jesus' resurrection from the dead.  After Andy Stanley was challenged on that by Russell Moore, Frank Turek decided to write an article on his ministry's website defending Andy Stanley's arguments.

In order to understand how Frank Turek is sliding further into apostasy by defending Andy Stanley, we need to understand what Andy Stanley's arguments are, and what's wrong with them.

After we understand what is wrong with Andy Stanley's arguments, then we can focus on Frank Turek's defense of Andy Stanley's arguments, and what is wrong with Frank Turek's defense.

Andy Stanley Condemns Defending The Old Testament Via Apologetics

Andy Stanley was recently interviewed by Russell Moore at the 2016 Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission National Conference about his approach to reaching unbelievers.  You can watch the whole interview here:

While I was watching the video to see if Andy Stanley would say the things that CMI claims he said in his sermon series, I eventually saw Andy Stanley say this from the 19:24-20:33 marks of the video:

"It's not what the Bible says that's the issue; it's what else the Bible says.  And again, when you're dealing with secular people, as soon as you say 'the Bible...', everybody now knows the problems with the Bible.  And when I say 'problems', I mean the culture's view of the Bible.  In terms of six-day creation, there's no geological evidence of a worldwide flood, there's no evidence for the exodus, there's all kinds of things that people can poke at, poke at, poke at.  And when they in their mind can discredit parts, it discredits the whole.  The problem is we send too many kids off to college thinking the same way.  So they get to a freshman English class or literature class, and somebody pokes holes in the Old Testament, and the whole house of cards comes tumbling down, but the foundation of our faith isn't the Bible; the foundation of our faith is an event, the Resurrection, and I think in our preaching, it's easy, when you develop the habit, to take every single sermon, every single sermon, and weave it back ultimately to Jesus and ultimately to the resurrection because once you've settled the question of who is Jesus based on the Resurrection, everything unfolds from there, from the beginning of the Bible all the way to an end.  It's just an approach."

So as we can see from the quote above, Andy Stanley says that the Bible is not the foundation for our faith because there are problems with the Old Testament's historical claims, mainly that there is no evidence for events like the flood of Noah, the Exodus from Egypt, and the creation of the Earth and Universe in six 24-hour days.  Andy Stanley then calls the Bible a fragile house of cards that's just waiting to topple if someone thinks that they need to defend the truthfulness of scripture from Genesis 1:1 to the end.

Andy Stanley tries to get around defending his argument by saying that these problems he listed are things that the secular culture considers to be problems, which implies that Andy Stanley doesn't think they're actual problems with the Bible, but in his sermon The Bible Told Me So from his Who Needs God series, Andy Stanley said the following from the 8:36-11:06 marks:

"Why are Christians so afraid? Why are Christians so fearful?  Why are we not the most curious people, and scientifically curious people in the world?  And I'll tell you why:  It's because you were raised in a culture, like I was raised in, and it was all-or-nothing.  If anything proves that something in the Bible isn't actually absolutely, historically, scientifically reliable, uh oh!  The whole thing comes tumbling down because this version of Christianity is a house of cards, and all you have to do is pull out one card, and the whole thing comes tumbling down.  Christianity becomes a fragile house of cards that comes tumbling down when we discover that perhaps the walls of Jericho didn't; when we discover or we're told that perhaps there was no exodus from Egypt to the promised land, and there's no historical evidence of that; when we're told in school and graduate school that there's no evidence for a world-wide flood; when people point out apparent contradictions in the Bible; when in school we're told that there's no way the Earth is 6,000 years old, it's four and a half or 4.55 billion years old, and the universe is 14 and a half billion years old, and all of a sudden the tension is around 'the Bible says, the Bible says, the Bible says...' and 'Science has said, science has said...", and all of a sudden there's this extraordinary, extraordinary tension.  

If the entire Bible isn't true, then let's be honest:  The Bible isn't true!  I mean if the whole thing isn't true, because you grew up and I grew up, and you grew up in a church in the united states that's basically 'The Bible says it; that settles it!  The Bible says it; that settles it!'  Then we grow up, we become adults, we become aware of things that make us wonder if everything in the Bible is true.  And when we conclude or we come to the conclusion that maybe it's not all as true as we were told it was true, then Christianity comes tumbling down.  Christians feel, your parents felt, your pastor felt, perhaps you still feel, the pressure to defend the Bible because if you don't defend the Bible, you can't defend Christianity.  This puts the Bible in the center of the debate; this puts the spotlight on the Bible.  This puts the Bible in a place where if we can't defend everything in it, then everything in it goes away.  And the good news is that is very unfortunate; the great news is, that is absolutely necessary." 

Having watched the entire sermon, Andy Stanley does not at any point state that the problems with the Bible he listed are mere objections that unbelievers make up to justify their unbelief, which leads to the conclusion that Andy Stanley really believes that there are problems in the Old Testament that are impossible to defend using apologetics.  I don't have time to go into all the evidence behind Andy Stanley's claims because I want to get to Frank Turek's defense as quickly as possible, so I am simply going to show how lazy Andy Stanley was in his research.

I'm not an archaeologist, but I've studied enough about Biblical Archaeology to know that Andy Stanley is dead wrong when he claimed that there is no evidence that the walls of Jericho fell down like the Bible says they did.  If Andy Stanley had taken the time to look up "Archaeological Evidence of The Bible" on YouTube, he would have found this Charlie Campbell presentation at Calvary San Diego from back in 2013:

While Campbell goes through many different archaeological evidences that support both the Old and New Testaments, we see Campbell give the archaeological evidence for the walls of Jericho falling down from the 10:45-13:57 marks of the video.  Now it took me literally a few seconds to find this video on YouTube; am I really supposed to believe that Andy Stanley doesn't have the time or resources to check out any apologetics materials regarding the walls of Jericho before he goes off into a sermon to say that there is no evidence for the walls of Jericho falling down?

Andy Stanley then says that there is no historical evidence of an exodus from Egypt like Moses describes in the book of Exodus.  Aside from the fact that Exodus reads exactly like a typical historical document, and aside from the fact that I could simply tell Andy Stanley that there's a recent documentary on Netflix called Patterns of Evidence: Exodus that aims to provide a bunch of evidence that the Exodus really happened (I haven't found the time to watch the documentary, but my friends who have tell me it's really good), I would like to point out that Jesus himself says that the Exodus happened:

John 6:29-33:  "Jesus answered, 'The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.'

So they asked him, 'What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?  Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: "He gave them bread from heaven to eat."'

Jesus said to them, 'Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.'"

As we can see from this passage, Jesus is being challenged by his Jewish audience to perform a miracle in order for them to believe his claims about himself, which we know from the rest of the gospels that they rejected all such evidence that Jesus provided, but in this particular instance, they appealed to the account of the manna and quail in Exodus 16 as a sign they would supposedly accept.  After Jesus pointed out to them that it was God the Father who had given them the manna from Heaven and not Moses, Jesus says that the Father gives the true bread of heaven, which gives life to the world.

How does this show that Jesus claims that the Exodus happened?  Well, most people consider the Exodus to be comprised of not only the Israelites' departure from Egypt and crossing of the Red Sea, but also the 40 years that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness before arriving at the promised land.  Since the manna and Quail incident in Exodus 16 took place during the 40 years in the wilderness, and since Jesus treated that particular account as a historical event by pointing out to his listeners that God had given the Israelites the bread instead of Moses, it's not hard to imagine that Jesus would have treated the rest of the events in the Exodus any differently (In my book Another Inconvenient Truth and in my upcoming presentation at the Institute for Creation Science, I point out a number of hard-to-believe Old Testament miracle accounts that Jesus treated as historical facts).

As far as there being no evidence for a world-wide flood, we have yet another instance of Andy Stanly not doing his homework at all.  Aside from all the work that Young Earth Creationist ministries have been doing over the decades providing evidence for the Flood of Noah via presentations, videos, and written articles, I myself stepped into the fray last year when I wrote The Flood of Noah is a Historical Fact, an article that showed physical evidence, historical evidence, and Jesus' statements about the Flood that show that the flood of Noah was global.

As far as supposed contradictions in the Bible go, It's hard to tell what Andy Stanley's position on that is since he said so little, but for the sake of responding point by point, I invite the readers to read my old blog post The Historicity of Jesus Christ, The Gospels, and The New Testament to see what kind of contradictions we're talking about, and how easy it is to refute most of them.

When it comes to Andy Stanley's claim that there is no evidence that the Earth and universe are 6,000 years old like a plain reading of scripture tells us, this might be the greatest example of Andy Stanley not doing his homework.  In my post Just How Old Is The Earth & Universe?, I showed how I got a 6,000 year-old Earth and Universe using just the Bible, and in the previously mentioned
Does Denying Young Earth Creationism Make Someone A Heretic?, I showed exactly how Jesus endorsed the Young Earth Creationism timeline in the gospels of Matthew and Mark.  I also gave some evidence from science that supports the YEC timeline in the following video blog from 2015:

It might seem like I'm not really addressing Andy Stanley's objections by simply giving links to my previous materials, but my purpose in showing my previous materials is to show that I put in the homework that I needed to do before I went off creating my materials, and to show that it isn't that difficult or time-consuming to do the research.  Since he is the pastor of a church, Andy Stanley has no excuse for not doing his homework.

Frank Turek's defense of Andy Stanley

Since I watched all of Andy Stanley's The Bible Told Me So sermon, I saw him promote Frank Turek's book, call Turek his friend, and use some of Turek's arguments to prove the truthfulness of the New Testament; I'm not really surprised that Frank Turek would come to Andy Stanley's defense after the Russell Moore interview.  In his article Why Andy Stanley Is Right About The Foundation of Christianity and How To Defend It, Frank Turek said the following:

"Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I am a friend of Andy Stanley, and he’s used and recommended my book in his current apologetics sermon series. I do not personally know Russell Moore but do appreciate much of his work. I’ve tried to be fair in the following assessment. I’ll leave it to you to decide if I’ve succeeded."

While I appreciate Frank Turek's honesty about his bias, we're going to see the heresies that Frank Turek commits in his blind defense of Andy Stanley.  Let's start with this gem:

"First, one can’t even understand the Bible (or any communication) without first understanding truths from outside the Bible—aspects of the natural revelation such as philosophy, logic, and consistent cause and effect. In other words, in order to get anything out of the Bible, you need principles or keys of interpretation from outside the Bible to access it, much like you need your keys to unlock your house to get anything out of it. Without keys of interpretation from the outside, we would never be able to unlock the Bible to learn what’s in it. While we often take those keys of interpretation for granted, we get them from the book of nature and the principles of human communication including language and grammar."

When I first read this paragraph, I couldn't believe what Frank Turek said.  There are two ideas that Frank Turek is communicating in this paragraph; the first one is that Frank Turek says that there are objective truths that exist outside of the Biblical worldview.  Excuse me Frank, but have you forgotten about what Paul wrote in Colossians 2?!

Colossians 2:1-5:  "I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally.  My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.  For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is."

Notice what Paul said in verses 2-4, which is that all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom are hidden in Jesus, which ultimately means that there is no such thing as objective truths that exist outside of the Biblical worldview.  Paul even explains in the very next sentence that the reason he's telling his readers this is because he doesn't want them to be deceived by fine-sounding arguments, especially arguments that come from a gifted speaker like Frank Turek

The second point that Frank Turek made in that paragraph above is that we need to use these so-called objective truths that exist outside of the Biblical worldview to reinterpret what we read in the Bible.  Frank Turek explains this in more detail in the following paragraph in his article:

"Sometimes we even use what we learn from nature or philosophy to overrule what appears to be the clear reading of Scripture. The rotation of the earth around the sun is one such example. Another is the immaterial nature of God. We use the book of nature and the principles of human communication to realize that the Bible uses observational language to describe nature (sun rising and setting) and metaphors to describe God’s attributes (He has eyes, arms, legs, etc.)."

This paragraph really doesn't surprise me because in his original video on the age of the universe that I responded to, Frank Turek said that the reason he believed that the universe and Earth were billions of years old was because he believed that the laws of physics have never changed; in other words, he took his "we use what we learn from nature and philosophy to overrule what appears to be the clear reading of scripture" attitude that he lays out here, and he applied it to the Bible's clear 6,000-year-old Earth and universe timeline.  Frank Turek shows by this action that he has no reverence for God in his heart, and that he rejects scripture as being his final authority.

As I read through Frank Turek's article, I came across the part where he addresses what Andy Stanley had to say about the problems with the Bible, and in trying to defend Andy Stanley's arguments that I dissected in the previous section, Frank Turek makes three claims that are completely contrary to the Biblical worldview.  Let's look at each one:

"Let me sum up this important point in another way. The ontological foundation of Christianity is not a collection of ancient writings we call the Bible. The ontological foundation of Christianity is the reality of God and the historicity of the biblical events including the Resurrection of Christ. (In fact, the New Testament wouldn’t exist unless the Resurrection occurred.) So while we need all of the Bible to more fully understand God and live the Christian life, we don’t need all the Bible to understand its most important message—the Gospel.

Seriously, Frank Turek?!  We don't need all of the Bible to fully understand the Gospel message of salvation?  What about what Jesus told his disciples when he appeared to them in Luke 24?

Luke 24:44-49:  "He said to them, 'This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.  He told them, 'This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.  I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.'”

As we can see from above, Jesus told his disciples that virtually the entire Old Testament wrote about him, and then he tells them that the Gospel message of salvation is based on what the Old Testament scriptures say; Jesus is clearly teaching that you can't fully understand the Gospel message of salvation without understanding the Old Testament, which means that you need all of the Bible to fully understand the gospel message of salvation. 

Is Frank Turek even aware that he's contradicting the words of the one he claims to follow?  Does he even care? 

That was Andy’s reason for saying, “Let’s get the spotlight off the Bible, and back on the Resurrection.” Not for believers, but for unbelievers. Namely, when unbelievers doubt certain stories in the Bible (such as Noah or Jonah), focus on the evidence that the Resurrection actually occurred so they don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and dismiss the Gospel.

What Frank Turek is saying here is that if unbelievers bring objections to certain historical claims in the Old Testament such as Noah and the Flood or Jonah and the Whale, what we should do is sweep those objections under the rug, not deal with them, and instead focus on the historical evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus (and ultimately the New Testament).  There are two problems with this:

1)  Not dealing with objections to claims in the Old Testament is not an option because Jesus taught in John 3:12 that if we can't trust the Bible when it makes historical and scientific claims, then we can't trust the gospel message of salvation (you can see the more detailed examination of John 3:12 in my recent materials).  This means that it is mandatory for Apologists to defend the historical claims in the Old Testament.  Because of this, the way that guys like Ken Ham, Thomas Kindell, or JD Mitchell respond to objections like this is they will usually provide evidence supporting the historical claim of the Old Testament in particular before turning the conversation back to the Gospel.  This way, they deal with the objection without forgetting to tell the unbeliever what they really need to know.

2)  By dismissing the objections to historical claims in the the Old Testament without dealing with them and only focusing on the Resurrection and the New Testament, Frank Turek is creating a New-Testament-Only version of Christianity, and this version of Christianity is a false religion that destroys people's faith in God because they tend to view the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament as being radically different gods; the God of the Old Testament is all about the wrath, and the God of the New Testament is all about the Love in this version of Christianity. 

One of my best friends was a nominal Christian for a long time before he walked away from religion, but before he did, he was a NT-Only Christian, and he used to always talk with me and my parents about why God seemed so different in the Old and New Testaments.  I think that his NT-Only Christianity may have played a part in him walking away from the faith.  So when Frank Turek promotes NT-Only Christianity when he says that we shouldn't deal with the unbeliever's objections to historical claims in the Old Testament, it makes me upset because Frank Turek should know better as an apologist.  There's no excuse for him.

That’s Andy’s approach because many in our culture believe that if you doubt one story in the Bible you can’t believe any of it. Andy’s apologetic approach defuses that erroneous belief and for good reason. Believing in Noah and Jonah are not essential to your salvation, but believing in the Resurrection is!"

Well Frank Turek, the reason that so many people in our culture believe that you can't believe in any of the Bible if you doubt one story in the Bible is because Jesus himself taught the concept!  In John 3:12, Jesus taught that if you can't trust the Bible when it makes historical and scientific claims, then you can't trust Gospel message of Salvation; this same Jesus went on in his ministry to teach that Noah and Jonah are historical facts, so it turns out that believing in Noah and Jonah ACTUALLY IS essential to your salvation, every bit as much as the Resurrection is.   You seem to have a nasty habit of directly contradicting the words of the Jesus that you claim to submit to, and in this particular case, you're saying that what Jesus taught in John 3:12 is an erroneous belief.


So as we bring things to a close, we can see that while Andy Stanley raises objections against the historical claims of the Old Testament, and while he calls the Bible a fragile house of cards, he's also a man who doesn't do his own homework on apologetics topics like this, and he blindly believes what his friend, apologist Frank Turek, tells him about the Bible.  This is a problem for Andy Stanley because Frank Turek is a heretic and false teacher.

How is Frank Turek a Heretic?  Well, aside from the fact that he rejects the Young Earth Creationism timeline that we get from the Bible (as I documented in my original video blog about Frank Turek), Frank Turek believes in additional heresies:  He teaches that objective truths exist outside of the Biblical worldview, that these objective truths outside of the Biblical worldview must be used to reinterpret the Bible, that we don't need all of the Bible to understand the Gospel message of salvation, that we shouldn't focus on defending the historical claims of the Old Testament, and that Jesus was wrong in John 3:12 when Jesus said that if we can't trust the Bible on historical and scientific claims, then we can't trust the gospel message of salvation.

To those of you who didn't like it when I called Frank Turek a heretic in my original video blog about him, I have to ask:  how many heresies does Frank Turek need to commit before you acknowledge that he's a heretic?  Just in this blog post alone, I have documented six serious heresies that Frank Turek is committing, and of those six heresies, five of them directly contradict the words of Jesus.  

Let that sink in for a moment.  If 83 percent of the heresies that Frank Turek commits directly contradicts the words of Jesus, is Frank Turek really a follower of Jesus?

Frank Turek used to be my favorite apologist back when I was an Old Earth Creationist, but with all of his heretical teachings in 2016, I have finally decided to get rid of my copies of his books I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist and Stealing From God.  It is my hope that those of you searching for Truth will reject Frank Turek like I have, and that you will not promote his materials in any way.  We need to treat him like an unbeliever until he repents and submits to Jesus as the authority over his life and thinking. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Does Denying Young Earth Creationism Make Someone A Heretic?

For anyone who keeps up with this blog's YouTube page, recently I put out a video blog responding to apologist Frank Turek's most recent video about the age of the universe.  You can watch the blog here:

After I had released this video blog and shared it in all the venues that I could, I had a friend message me back about the video with some comments he had.  He agreed with me that Frank Turek was way wrong about how long the six days of creation are, but he disagreed with the part of my video where I called Frank Turek a heretic.  His argument for why Turek was not a heretic was that Turek did not deny any of the non-negotiable doctrines of Christianity.  My friend then went on to say that Turek's view was aberrant, not heretical.  

The obvious implication of this line of reasoning is that Young Earth Creationism is not a non-negotiable doctrine of the Biblical worldview, and denying the Young Earth Creationism timeline doesn't make someone a heretic.

In response to this claim, we will rehash what Jesus has said about the age of the universe and earth that I have gone over in my other video blogs, we will go over the dictionary definitions of the words Aberrant and Heretic, and then we will put everything together and talk about the implications.

Before we go on, I want to note that this post is NOT about attacking my friend.  My friend understands that the Bible clearly does not teach billions of years, and he recognizes that the YEC timeline is the only timeline that the Bible lays out as being the correct timeline of history.  My friend is not a heretic in any way, shape, or form.  All I hope to do is show my friend, and others who think like him, that Jesus allows no wiggle room when it comes to the age of the universe and Earth. 
Jesus taught that the YEC Timeline is true

For those of you who are not familiar with my previous video blogs or my blog post Was Jesus Radical?!, there are two specific passages where Jesus teaches something that can only be true if Young Earth Creationism is true.  Here are those passages:

Matthew 19:1-6:  When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan.  Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?'

'Haven’t you read,' he replied, 'that at the beginning the Creator "made them male and female," and said, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh"?  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.'"

Mark 10: 1-9:  "Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.

Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?'

'What did Moses command you?' he replied.

They said, 'Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.'

'It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,' Jesus replied. 'But at the beginning of creation God "made them male and female." "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

As we can see in the above passages, Jesus is clearly saying that man and woman (Adam and Eve) were created at the beginning of creation.  In order to understand why that teaching can only be true if Young Earth Creationism is true, please look at the chart below where I graph out the timelines of the most popular interpretations of the creation account of Genesis 1:1-2:3 and insert the creation of Adam and Eve on each timeline:

As we can see in the chart above, if we insert the creation of Adam and Eve into the Gap Theory timeline, we have Adam and Eve being created 6,000 years ago on a 14-billion-year timeline.  If we insert the creation of Adam and Eve into the Day-Age Theory timeline, we have Adam and Eve being created roughly 2 billion years ago on a 14-billion-year timeline.  Finally, if we insert the creation of Adam and Eve into the  Young Earth Creationism timeline, we have Adam and Eve being created on day six of a 6,000-year timeline. 

When we look at Jesus' words in Matthew 19:1-6 and Mark 10:1-9, which of these timelines best lines up with Jesus' statement that male and female were created at the beginning of creation?  The answer is that it is only the YEC timeline that lines up with Jesus' teaching in Matthew 19:1-6 and Mark 10:1-9.

Definitions of Aberrant and Heretic:

Since my friend brought up the word Aberrant to describe Frank Turek's OEC beliefs, we're going to let the Merriam-Webster Dictionary define the word for us.  According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the first definition of Aberrant is:

"Straying from the right or normal way."

It should be rightly pointed out that my friend was not incorrect in describing Turek's OEC beliefs as being aberrant; since Jesus clearly taught that the Young Earth Creationism timeline is true as I showed in the section above, and since Jesus is supposed to be the sole authority whose way is right, Turek is clearly straying from the right way when he teaches that the Earth and Universe are billions of years old.

However, that very same Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a heretic as the following:

"someone who believes or teaches something that goes against accepted or official beliefs"

Since Turek's teaching that the Earth and universe are billions of years old directly contradicts the clear teaching of the YEC timeline by Jesus in Matthew 19:1-6 and Mark 10:1-9, this means that Turek is teaching something that goes against the official teaching on the age of the Earth and universe that Jesus gave, making Turek a heretic by definition.

Some of you reading this post might be thinking the following:

"Ok, you've shown us that Jesus endorsed the Young Earth Creationism timeline by teaching that male and female were created at the beginning of creation, but how does this make someone who rejects Young Earth Creationism a heretic?"

If you were thinking that, then I'm glad, because Jesus himself explains how this makes someone a heretic.  Let's take a look at John 3:10-15:

John 3:10-15: 'You are Israel’s teacher,' said Jesus, 'and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.'”

Verse 12 is the key verse in the passage, where Jesus asks how they can believe him when he speaks about heavenly things in light of the fact that they don't believe him when he talks about earthly things.  How does this relate to rejection of YEC being a heresy?  It's quite simple:
The age of the Earth/universe qualifies as an earthly thing since it's talking about how old the Earth is, and the Gospel message of salvation is definitely a heavenly thing since it comes from Heaven, so by using substitution, Jesus is clearly saying in John 3:12 that if you can't trust him when he endorses the YEC timeline by teaching that male and female were created at the beginning of creation, then you can't trust his Gospel message of salvation.  To teach that the universe and Earth are billions of years old undermines the credibility of the Gospel, according to Jesus, and that makes the YEC timeline of the Bible a non-negotiable doctrine.

So while it's true that someone like Frank Turek believes in many of the non-negotiable doctrines of the Biblical worldview, the fact that he denies one of the non-negotiable doctrines of the Biblical worldview qualifies him as a heretic, regardless of how nice of a guy he is or how many correct beliefs he has.

This makes me think of the character Fritz from the The Chronicles of the Schoenberg Cotta Family, who said the following:

"In speaking of the great truths, of God freely justifying the sinner because Christ died, (the Judge acquitting because the Judge himself had suffered for the guilty), I had endeavoured to trace them, as I have said, beyond all human words to their divine authority. But now to confess Luther seemed to me to have become identical with confessing Christ. It is the truth which is assailed in any age which tests our fidelity. It is to confess we are called, not merely to profess. If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle-field besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point."

There is a war going on out in the world:  Evolutionists know that the evidence against Evolution is staggering, but they also know that their theory will always be plausible so long as everyone believes that the universe and Earth are billions of years old because they'll have all this unobservable time to hide their evolutionary belief in.

So when a Young Earth Creationist like myself attacks their belief in billions of years by pointing out where the belief originated historically, pointing out that the Bible teaches that the Earth and Universe are only 6,000 years old, and pointing out scientific evidence that limits the age of the Earth and universe to only a few thousand years old like the Bible says, the Evolutionist will vehemently attack Young Earth Creationists for taking away the only thing that makes their evolutionary beliefs plausible.

What's really sad is that over the course of the past couple centuries, so many Christians have been indoctrinated into believing that the universe and Earth are way older than what the Bible clearly teaches that they will stand with the evolutionists in condemning Young Earth Creationists for teaching that the Earth and universe are roughly 6,000 years old, regardless of the fact that the Jesus they claim to follow endorses and teaches the YEC timeline.

In the case of Frank Turek, his refusal to accept the YEC timeline proves that his loyalty does not lie with Jesus of Nazareth, no matter how much he thinks he is being loyal to Jesus by affirming all the other non-negotiable doctrines.  Frank Turek affirms many non-negotiable doctrines, but when Satan and the World attack the YEC timeline that Jesus and the Bible clearly espouse, Frank Turek joins the world in condemning the YEC timeline instead of being loyal to Jesus and defending the YEC timeline.

My fear for Frank Turek is that if he dies as he currently is, and he stands before Jesus, he will hear the following words:

"I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!"