“O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.”
There are many and various animals in the world, and some of them can be very unusual. Perhaps one of the strangest is the coconut crab (Birgus latro). Despite its name, it rarely eats coconuts. But the fact that it possesses such a name is one of the odd things about it. It is a land crab. Of course, there are a number of species of land crabs around the world, but to those of us in the western world, the land still seems an unusual environment for a type of animal that we expect to see in the sea.
Coconut crabs are huge. They are the largest land-dwelling arthropods, and they look very intimidating. Their bodies are about 16 inches across, and their leg span can be up to 3 feet. Their huge claws can cause considerable pain, and they don’t seem to like to let go! And they live primarily on land, usually in burrows, though they can climb trees. This gives the crab its alternative name of “robber crab”, because they will steal coconuts from the palms.
Were these animals made like this, or did God create crabs with sufficient adaptability for some of them to live on land?
Evolutionists suppose that all crustaceans, like crabs, have a common ancestor. Yet, the fossil record does not show this. Nor is it possible to postulate one for such a wide variety of types. God, in His creativity, has made so many wonderful sorts of animals.
Since 2006, we have documented the move toward Reformed Calvinism on the part of many BJU graduates, but it wasn’t clear where the school itself stood. That picture has now come into clear focus, and it is worse than we suspected. In October, BJU president Steve Pettit participated in the “Greenville Conference on Reformed Theology” at Second Presbyterian Church. The other two speakers were Joel Beeke and Richard Phillips. Beeke is a professor at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and Phillips serves on the board of The Gospel Coalition. On November 11-12, Andy Naselli was the guest speaker at BJU for the Stewart Custer Lecture Series. Naselli is a professor at John Piper’s Bethlehem College & Seminary and an elder of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Naselli is also on the staff of The Gospel Coalition. It is becoming more clear why Bob Jones University is building bridges to Keith Getty, who is a Reformed Calvinist and whose pastor, Alistair Beggs, is a prominent member of The Gospel Coalition. TGC represents the new Reformed Calvinism. Unlike old Reformed Calvinism, new Reformed Calvinism is ecumenical. The old Reformed men believed that Rome is the great whore of Revelation 17, drunken with the blood of the martyrs, but the new Reformed have ecumenical relationships with Rome, or at least are sympathetic to it. On the TGC web page “Should Christians Be Ecumenical,” we find the following: “Can evangelicals and Catholics truly be together? Jesus’ prayer for unity in the Body obligates me to see the ecumenical task as important for Christianity” (by Trevin Wax, a Southern Baptist Wheaton College professor who associates with the Gettys). This is false. Jesus’ prayer in John 17 has nothing to do with ecumenism. In fact, Christ emphasized obedience to God’s Word and the importance of truth (Joh. 17:6, 8, 14, 17, 19), which are incompatible with ecumenism. Lou Martuneac makes the following observation, “What has BJU president Steve Pettit shown us by taking an active role in this conference, with these speakers? First, he has removed any lingering doubt of having led the University to embrace Reformed Theology. Second, The Gospel Coalition (TGC) includes men in its leadership who are some of the most egregious of ecumenical compromisers among the so-called ‘conservative’ evangelicals. To any objective observer surely enough has been seen to erase any lingering doubt that BJU has abandoned its foundational, separatist principles. The University has always been theologically broad. So--that’s not new. What is new is the association with compromised denominations that have never espoused fundamentalism” (“This Is Not Your Father’s Bob Jones University, A Continuation,” In Defense of the Gospel, Nov. 14, 2019).
(Friday Church News Notes, November 29, 2019, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.”
Every so often, as we like to report in these Creation Moments, evolutionists find that their own discoveries and their own presuppositions cause them to have to rewrite and rethink huge areas of evolutionary theory. One such area is the supposed evolutionary development of feathers.
Feathers are marvelous examples of design. We have commented before about the impossibility of the evolution of feathers in birds. While recognizing some of the problems inherent in alleged feather development, evolutionists have simply pushed back feather development on to therapod dinosaurs, such as tyrannosaurus, supposedly 180 million years ago. Now, scientists at the University of Bristol, have investigated the little hairs, or pycnofibres, on pterosaurs, and determined that they think these are feathers. Previously, evolutionists had not thought that pterosaurs were related to therapods, so they now have to write a whole new section of evolution, based on the supposed origin of feathers, pushing back the evolutionary date for feathers to 250 million years ago.
There are so many issues to pick holes with here. Remember that the dating of these creatures relies on the dates of fossils, which are not, contrary to popular opinion, dated by any radiometric method, and certainly not by carbon dating. They are dated using circular reasoning where the dates of rocks and fossils are guesstimated from each other.
Creationists would not have any problem with finding out that creatures other than birds had feathers. We still point to the impossibility of the evolution of these marvelous objects.
Metropolitan Tabernacle of London, England, during Charles Spurgeon’s pastorate (1854-1882) is an example of a praying church. The preaching was effectual and the church was aggressive in evangelism (e.g., street preaching, aggressive tract distribution, 27 Sunday Schools ministering to over 8,000 children with 612 teachers). Thousands were saved with changed lives as evidence, and Spurgeon attributed this largely to prayer. “Spurgeon regarded the prayer meeting as ‘the most important meeting of the week.’ He often said that it was not surprising if churches did not prosper, when they regarded the prayer meeting as of so little value that one evening in the week was made to suffice for a feeble combination of service and prayer meeting. A.T. Pierson, who ministered at the Tabernacle during Spurgeon’s last illness, said, ‘This Metropolitan Tabernacle is a house of prayer most emphatically prayer is almost ceaselessly going up. When one meeting is not in progress, another is. There are prayer meetings before preaching, and others after preaching. No marvel that Mr. Spurgeon’s preaching has been so blessed. He himself attributes it mainly to the prevailing prayers of his people’” (Wonders of Grace: Original testimonies of converts during Spurgeon’s early years, p. 14). Spurgeon warned about the prayerlessness that characterized many of the Baptist churches of his day. He attributed the “downgrade” in doctrine in the Baptist Union to the weak spiritual condition of the churches. He wrote, “Are churches in a right condition when they have only one meeting for prayer in a week, and that a mere skeleton? Churches which have prayer-meetings several times on the Lord’s-day, and very frequently during the week, yet feel their need of more prayer; but what can be said of those who very seldom practice united supplication? Are there few conversions? Do the congregations dwindle? Who wonders that this is the case when the spirit of prayer has departed?” (The Sword and the Trowel, Aug. 1887).
(Friday Church News Notes, November 22, 2019, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”
There have been some truly magnificent musical works composed over the centuries. The great Baroque Oratorios are among my favorite, combining recitatives – “sung as spoken” narration, alternating with choruses of tremendous power. The composers Bach and Handel were the masters of this form of church music. The Austrian composer, Joseph Haydn, really belongs to the later Classical, rather than Baroque, era of art music, but during concert tours of England in the 1790s, he was much impressed by Handel’s oratorios Israel in Egypt and, of course, The Messiah, and wanted to write a major oratorio of his own.
He was handed a lengthy poem, detailing the creation of the world, which Handel had not got round to working on. Haydn decided he would do it, so he got his librettist, Baron Gottfried van Swieten, to adapt the poem, which drew on the words of Genesis, Psalms, and John Milton’s classic Paradise Lost.
Uniquely, the libretto was developed in both German and English, so is equally at home being performed in either language. A performance of The Creation is a massive undertaking, however, with large choir and orchestra, and powerful solo sections.
The oratorio was first performed in Vienna in 1799. The work reflects the composer’s own faith. The dying Haydn was carried into his last performance, in 1808, at which the audience erupted in spontaneous applause. Haydn pointed weakly upward. “Not from me—everything comes from up there!” And Haydn’s Creation remains a supreme act of worship to our God and Creator.
“For years, scientists have been puzzled by the discrepancy between the released and measured ocean plastic. More than 98% goes missing every year, causing researchers to wonder where it goes. A new study may have an answer: It is dissolved by the sun. Scientists from Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, East China Normal University, and Northeastern University conducted a lab experiment to study how plastic responds to direct sunlight while floating in ocean water. Published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, the study exposed various plastic polymers commonly found in ocean garbage to simulated sunlight while immersed in ocean water for two months. It observed degradation and dissolution at a far higher rate than anyone previously thought possible. The consensus has been that plastic survives in nature for thousands of years. This study showed that, when exposed to sunlight, the half-life--the time it takes for half of the material to disappear--of common types of plastic was reduced to only 2.7 years. The most robust plastic had an estimated half-life of 49 years, which is still orders of magnitude faster than previously believed. In the West, news of sea creatures trapped in plastic typically is met with more demands to ban plastic straws. This is a classic example of narcissistic altruism, the misplaced belief that anything wrong in the world is to be blamed on America. Yet 95% of the plastic garbage in the ocean comes from only ten rivers in the world, most of them in Asia, and all of them in the Third World. According to The Wall Street Journal, China alone accounts for 8.8 million tons annually, whereas America releases only 0.3 million tons. The United States accounts for only about 1% of the combined world pollution. Until now, Third World countries have been given a free pass by the West. They get to produce as much CO2 as they want, cheat on intellectual property, subsidize their national industry while tolling and strictly regulating foreign competitors, treat their workers in a way that would never be allowed in the West, and release most of the garbage that pollutes the world’s oceans to the detriment of all. The main culprit is China.”
“Ocean Plastics” Liberty Nation, Nov. 14, 2019
“I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.”
We do not have many artifacts in the Mount St Helens Creation Center, as we consider ourselves more of a visitors’ center than a museum. But, over the years, we have acquired one or two interesting pieces. One of them is a fossilized egg, and I have been reliably informed that it is the egg of a hadrosaurus.
The hadrosaurus was one of the earliest and most famous fossil discoveries of the 19th Century. Having seen some large bones, dug up by someone twenty years previously, the discoverer dug up a nearly complete skeleton in 1858, in a woodland site in New Jersey. The dinosaur was subsequently named Hadrosaurus foulkii, for its discoverer. It was thought to be a dinosaur, similar to iguanadon.
It was ten years before the skeleton was assembled for display. The sculptor who assembled the skeleton was the British naturalist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins. Foulke had contacted the paleontologist Joseph Leidy, who decided that the dinosaur must have walked on two legs, which is interesting, because Hawkins had previously built a model iguanadon at the Crystal Palace dinosaur park in London, England, showing the iguanadon on all fours, like a lizard.
Today, the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences houses the dinosaur, and many other fossil hadrosaurs have been discovered, making it, and its eggs, some of the most popular fossils around. Hadrosaurs were beautiful creatures, made by God on Day Six of creation week, along with the other land animals.
“When you think the big corporate push for a sexual revolution couldn’t get any worse, think again. The LGBTQ mafia which is controlled by the corporate elites has continued to stay on the bleeding edge of sexual immorality and Sprite is at the front of the line. Sprite recently released a commercial in Argentina depicting a teenage boy bundling up and transitioning into a girl. The commercial shows graphic images of the child’s body while he changes into girl’s clothes, puts on a wig, and paints himself up. Ten years ago, this commercial would have sparked outrage across the world and would not have been allowed, but now, this is celebrated like it’s the greatest thing to happen to the world since sliced bread. It is clearly an indication that the world is being given over to sin and under the judgment of God.”
“Sprite Puts Out Disgusting Commercial,” ReformationCharlotte.com, Nov. 15, 2019
“The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.”
It is raining ice particles on the surface of Saturn, and the source of that rain is the planet’s unusual ring system.
Saturn is so spectacular, that we have to revisit it time and time again, even though we have talked about it before in previous Creation Moments. When I first saw telescope images of Saturn, as a boy, I was open-mouthed. Modern exploration, including spacecraft, has only served to increase our surprise and delight at the planet, with its magnificent, highly photogenic ring system.
Voyager I, launched in 1977, and flying by Saturn in 1980, hinted at the concept of ring rain. More recent NASA observations have confirmed that particles of ice from the rings are being pulled by gravity into the planet. The rate at which this is happening suggests that Saturn’s rings are slowly disappearing. If the current rates continue, Saturn’s rings could disappear in 100 million years!
“This is relatively short, compared to Saturn’s age of over 4 billion years,” says James O’Donoghue of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
The calculations are accurate, but are based on the idea that this ring rain has always happened at a constant rate, and will always continue at that same rate. This is a principle that makes no sense, when we observe that the Bible’s timescale of about 6,000 years is much less. I cannot say why this process is happening, but I see no reason why God would end the tour of duty of Saturn’s rings.
Colonial Hills Baptist Church of Indianapolis, Indiana, has announced “Worship Conference 2020: A Traditional Look at Contemporary Music” to be held in January. Speakers include Seth Custer and Greg Steikes of Bob Jones University, Adam Morgan of Majesty Music, Mark Herbster of Maranatha Baptist University, and Tim Fisher of Sacred Music Services. It is described as “a contemporary look at traditional worship.” The problem is that Bob Jones and Majesty Music have capitulated to using Getty Townend Music (GTM) in their hymnals, so they are facing two ways. They have changed their former stand of accepting no contemporary Christian music to one of accepting some contemporary Christian music. This is a major turning point if there is such a thing as a slippery slope in this issue, and there most definitely is such a thing. Getty-Townend are out-and-out contemporary rockers with no boundaries either in musical styles or associations. Townend is a “gibberish tongues-speaking, prophecies are for today, apostles are among us, kingdom now” charismatic. The Gettys partner with Roman Catholics such as Matt Maher, Margaret Becker, and Máire Brennan. GTM is a bridge to the one world church as surely as Hillsong. We have documented this extensively in the report “The Gettys - Pied Pipers of Contemporary Worship Music.” Men who are defending the use of contemporary praise music to any degree instead of warning against it without equivocation will answer to God for the souls that cross the bridges they are building to the dangerous world that is represented by this music. In the Internet age, to recommend some select GTM songs is, in effect, to point people to Stuart Townend and the Gettys online and to their influence. I hope to hear in January that Worship Conference 2020 publicly renounces the use of Getty-Townend Music, repents of any former support for this music, and that GTM will be removed entirely from future editions of hymnbooks published by Majesty Music and Bob Jones University.
(Friday Church News Notes, November 22, 2019, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:”
It has often been said that if just one piece of evidence does not fit with an established theory, then that theory must be discarded. However, this never seems to happen to the theory of evolution. Instead, it gets adapted and altered at the edges of the theory. So every so often, a scientific article appears that reports that a certain aspect of evolutionary theory is having to be completely rethought. The latest topic is a very big one. It appears that the whole of evolutionary thought about flowering plants has to be redone.
The evolutionary date usually given for the appearance of flowering plants – known as angiosperms – is 130 million years. Now this date cannot be viewed in isolation. Most flowering plants require insects, or other animals, to act as pollinators. Therefore, the evolutionary date for angiosperms must be closely tied to the evolutionary dates for insects, and, to a lesser extent, for mammals.
However, recently a fossil flowering plant from China, called Nanjinganthus dendrostyla, has been given an evolutionary date of 174 million years. This plant clearly has a full flower. One article says that the discovery “shakes up widely accepted theories of plant evolution”. Its date has been assigned, because of the rock layers, in which the fossil was found. Creationists point out that the rock layers are nothing to do with age, but actually indicate the order in which pre-Flood ecosystems were covered by the encroaching floodwater.
“The BBC have released nine online videos titled ‘The Big Talk’ for use in British schools as part of the UK’s new Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum, which came into force in September 2019. In these films, typically running to four minutes, children are taught that sex is unrelated to gender, that people can go to prison for ‘being disrespectful or hateful’ (to others with different sexual orientations), and that there are ‘over 100 different gender identities.’ To question this ideology is now considered rank heresy. However, the BBC’s teaching will only sow further confusion in our society. The unpalatable truth is that a radical, dangerous philosophy is now being forced upon the young and vulnerable as part of the advancement of an extreme political ideology. It is of grave concern that the BBC is preaching this new ‘all-inclusive doctrine’ to children as young as 9–12 years of age. The material in the BBC videos should concern any parent or teacher who cares about the mental well-being of children, especially those seeking to raise children in accordance with biblical standards. Genesis 1:26-28 reveals that God created people as male and female in His image. Adam and Eve were the first married couple in Scripture, and Jesus Himself affirmed the Bible’s definition of marriage as one woman for one man for life (Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-8). However, in the BBC videos, school children are encouraged to transgress the clear standards of God’s Word and to celebrate this behaviour. This is to light the fuse of a cultural and moral time-bomb. Recently, Canadian academic Christopher Dummitt, a leader in the field of historical gender studies, bluntly admitted: ‘Everyone was (and is) making it up. That’s how the gender-studies field works.’ Dummit confesses that his field is driven by the underlying, unproven, ideological belief that gender is socially constructed, that it is non-binary (i.e. not restricted to male and female), and that traditional masculinity empowers men to oppress women. Such thinking has dominated the liberal arts in Western academic institutions since the 1990s. But such an ideology Dummit admits is ‘bankrupt’, not based on biological fact.”
“The BBC teaching British school children,” Creation.com, Nov. 14, 2019
“And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces”
Large dinosaurs could conceivably have had a heat problem. If they were able to generate their own body temperature, like birds and mammals, then the larger the size, the greater the volume to surface area ratio. This would lead to a greater retention of heat. How would large dinosaurs have been able to cope with such a situation?
A lot of research on the subject of dinosaurs has been hampered by researchers’ general assumptions on the supposed evolution of the creature that they are studying. This is despite the fact that there is no scientific evidence for such evolution. So it is exciting to come across some research that does not require evolutionary beliefs to make sense. Such research was carried out by Ohio University scientists into an ankylosaur, named euoplocephalus. This dinosaur fossil – about the size of a large rhino – had a highly convoluted nasal passage. Computer modeling has suggested that this extended passage would lead to veins being close to a lot of incoming air. The air would cool the blood, before it is transported to the brain, and the blood would warm the air before it hit the lungs. Thus there would be a pretty efficient heat exchange in the animal’s nostrils.
The one flaw in the research was when one scientist suggested that nature was finding a solution to a problem. Nature is not alive, and does not find solutions. This system speaks volumes about God’s wonderful design.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Like dinosaurs, whales are huge and wondrous creatures whose sheer size and majesty glorify the Creator. Some whales are even larger than were any of the dinosaurs.
Whales were hunted for generations for processing into a variety of products. It was not until they were hunted to near extinction that governments began to work to prevent this from happening. Much of the hunting was justified on the grounds that whales were ruthless killers. After that perception of whales was proven wrong, the pendulum swung the other way. As a result, the public, and even many scientists, began to romanticize whales. They were presented to the public as gentle, benevolent giants. It became stylish to talk about the whale as an intelligent creature, rivaling and perhaps surpassing humans. Now more objective research into whale behavior shows that whales, while magnificent creatures, are nothing more than wild animals.
Researchers have learned that while whales can be gentle, they can also be terribly violent. They have documented males in vicious battles for the attentions of females. Sometimes as many as ten males will be involved in a free-for-all. Their fighting tactics include ramming each other at full force with their 40-ton bodies. Whales are not very loyal, either. Males will mate with several females. Worse, they will attack females to force them to mate.
Unlike humans, whales are animals, and only humans were created to have an intimate relationship with their Creator.
“A lawmaker and pastor’s wife in Finland who was already being probed by police over a social media post in which she questioned the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland’s partnership with a Helsinki Pride event is now also facing a preliminary ‘incitement’ investigation over a booklet that she wrote 15 years ago entitled ‘Male and Female He Created Them.’ The Office of the Prosecutor General of Finland issued a press release on Monday noting that while Päivi Räsänen’s 2004 publication--which remains online--‘takes a stand on ecclesiastical policy, social policy, sexuality and marriage in regard to the Bible and its interpretation,’ Prosecutor Raija Toiviainen believes the text potentially constitutes a hate crime. ‘According to the prosecutor general, there is reason to believe that because of the defamation of homosexuals by the violation of their human dignity, Ms. Räsänen is guilty of incitement to hatred against a group,’ it explains. ‘Therefore, there will be a preliminary investigation in this matter.” As previously reported, Räsänen’s husband is a pastor with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, which is the largest denomination in the country, having an estimated three million members. Räsänen is known for defending life and marriage, standing against abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality. In June, Räsänen, a member of the Christian Democrat Party (which is different from the Democratic Party in the United States), also tweeted her views about the unscriptural advocacy. ‘How can the Church’s doctrinal foundation, the Bible, be compatible with the lifting up of shame and sin as a subject of pride? #LGBT #HelsinkiPride2019 #Romans 1:24-27,' she wrote, while sharing a photograph of the biblical text, as it directly addresses homosexuality. However, in September, it was announced that Räsänen had been placed under government investigation for her post, being accused of ‘incitement against sexual and gender minorities.’ She also told the Christian Broadcasting Network that she is ‘worried that this case, the criminal investigation, might frighten some Christians to hide and to keep silent.’ ‘Truth usually comes with a price. One often has to pay for following truth, confessing truth and speaking it. Instead, however, people are tempted to sell the truth, to acquire advantage for oneself by yielding to popular, false ideas and by distorting the truth. Yet the Bible exhorts, Buy the truth, and do not sell it! Räsänen stated during a seminar in 2013, according to text posted to her website. ‘If we neglect this right, the space for speaking will eventually get smaller. The more we keep silent about the teachings of the Bible on the painful issues of our time, the more powerful is the rejection. If there are not enough skiers on a ski track in a snowstorm, it gets difficult to proceed. We need people who ski before us.’”
“Finnish Politician, Pastor’s Wife Accused,” Christian News Network, Nov. 5, 2019