Critical Thinking: Biblical History, Moral Compass, Why the Bible Matters

Critical Thinking:

Biblical History, Moral Compass, Why the Bible Matters

Why the Bible Matters: Defining Right and Wrong

keyThere is a right and wrong to every question—Paying attention to your conscience is what helps you develop good character.

Do what is right; be faithful and fearless.

right-wrongsignOnward, press onward, the goal is in sight.

Eyes that are wet now, ere long will be tearless.

Blessings await you in doing what’s right!

Do what is right; let the consequence follow.

Battle for freedom in spirit and might;

and with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow.

God will protect you; then do what is right!

~Anonymous; The Psalms of Life, Boston, 1857

 

See More Defining Moments

 

 Birthright Covenant Series

Birthright Covenant Series-Young Adult Christian Books

Culture War GamesExcerpt from Book 2, coming in October

picnicwyouthIn this excerpt from the historical  Birthright Covenant series , book 2,  college history professor Jacob Nobles uses discovery teaching and ancient ruins at a historic site to lead his students in a discussion of truth, and discerning right from wrong.

      “Okay—” Preston spoke with caution. “I’ll give you that the Bible is actually a history. But why does it matter?

                “That is the million-dollar question …” Jacob smiled. “And you can find the answer here—for free!

                Jacob held up the Bible. “Now, Preston, you have asked why the Bible matters. Would you agree that the Bible is a history of God’s dealings with man?”

creationhands                “I guess you could say that. Apparently, somehow God’s version of the creation was given to Moses, and Moses wrote it down,” Preston commented carefully.

                “It makes sense to take God’s word for it,” Allison remarked with her usual bluntness. “After all, He was there when it happened—a distinction the rest of us cannot claim.”

                Preston shook his head. “Still, none of us were there for the creation process—not even Moses.”

                “That’s true.” Jacob chewed thoughtfully on his ham sandwich and inclined his head. “Hmm. So we have here two explanations for the Creation process—to keep it simple, we’ll call them two different stories. Since we were not present for the event, we’re forced to accept either one story or the other—on faith.”

                Puzzled, Preston tilted his head.

“What is faith, anyway?”

  “Well now, faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true,”[1] Josiah Bianco said.

 shepherdboy               Folding his arms across his chest, Preston surveyed the surrounding hills and glimpsed a boy leading a few sheep. “Are you saying that everybody just blindly follows …” He paused. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to offend.”

                “No offense taken.”

                “Don’t worry,” Ben said. “We all have done the same thing.”

                “Really?”

                “Of course. It’s called academic freedom.”

  “Sure. Bring it on!” Allison took a sip out of her can of grape juice. “Only frauds and liars are afraid to answer questions.”

                “Why is Dr. Marlow so afraid of other points of view?” Nola asked.

                “He doesn’t want to lose the debate!” Allison interjected.

“Yes. Debate is an important part of academic freedom, but anyone can win an argument without teaching truth. A friendly discussion with free exchange of ideas is more effective in discovering truth.” Jacob chuckled. “However, when you prefer to control what others say and think, truth can get in your way.

   “Now that we are away from the university, we can actually look at more than one point of view! We will look at two stories of the Creation—one, in the Bible, and the other, Dr. Marlow’s version.”

                “The Bible version seems too simple,” Preston said.

                “Well, what is Dr. Marlow’s version called?” Nola inquired.

                “Dr. Marlow believes in a theory called Natural Selection which, simply put, proposes that everything somehow creates itself by chance,” Jacob replied.

                “That doesn’t make sense.” Nola frowned in disagreement. “The human body—and mind—are complicated. Something can’t be produced by nothing.[2] My experience has shown me that nothing worthwhile happens by chance. Everything takes work, and effort, and planning.

                “Yes, Nola. That’s why some scientists say that the Bible history discloses an intelligent design, a purpose, or an orderly plan.”

                “Aren’t Bible stories for children?” Preston wondered.

                “Men struggle to explain their philosophy. The Bible explains the Creation so a child can understand—so that parents can teach their children through the ages. Who is more intelligent?” Jacob shrugged. “Anyway, the important thing is, who is telling the truth—Man, or God?”

                “Can you just assume there is a God?”

Preston asked.

Jacob laughed. “We can look at some evidence. Where is evidence of chance?”

            No one answered for a moment.

            Josiah Bianco chortled. “Shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not?” he quipped, quoting Isaiah.[1]

[1] Isaiah 29:16

“What about evidence of design?”

                “The ability to think, for one thing,” Allison said, “ …one of many.”

                “As I said, the human body,” Nola added, “and life itself. I know many very intelligent scientists and doctors, but no one can earimageduplicate an eye or an ear.”               

  Preston’s gaze rested momentarily upon Nola’s face—round blue eyes, delicate sculpted features like a work of art. “All right,” he said. “Let’s say God is the intelligent Creator. Couldn’t He have made man out of apes?”

“Of course, He could, but would He? He is a God of order. As Creator of earth and all living things, He set up the rules for justice and science. Why would He violate His own laws?”[3]

         “What do you mean?”

                “Okay, if the Bible is really a history, and if it is true that we humans are created in the image of God, how are we different from animals?”

                “We can reason, while animals use instinct,” Preston said. “You’ve already established that.”

teotihuacanserpent               “Humans can draw, read, and write,” Allison said. “I have yet to see an animal who could carve something like this creature.” She poked her finger into the big teeth of the dragon carving, but withdrew her hand quickly. “Yikes! I don’t think an animal would make something this weird, even if it could!”

Free Will

  Jacob grinned. “True. Also, you chose to come here today, others did not. Ruben left early; the rest of you stayed. What does that mean?”

                “People have the power to choose,” Ben said.

                “Yes, that’s called Free Will. We have no empirical evidence of such a thing, but let’s suppose we have here a creature who is half man and half ape—by whose laws would this creature live—by the laws of man or nature? You’re the law student here, Preston. What do you think?”

   “Uh …”

                “If the creature is half man, would it be fair to make him live like an animal? Or if he is half animal, and cannot reason fully as a man, would it be just to impose upon him the laws of men?”

                “This is really getting confusing!”

   “Yes, Preston, it is confusing. But when He had completed the creation, God blessed human beings and all living things to multiply, each after their own kind.[4] There is nothing confusing about that.”

                A flutter of wings announced the arrival of a dove which lit next to his mate upon a limb of the tall tree.

How Do You Know What Is True and Right?

“The human soul can never die. So you see, it is created, not evolved, because God is not the author of confusion.[5] Therefore, to avoid confusion, would you agree we need some kind of law to bring order and justice to our lives?”

                “Absolutely,” Preston said. “We must have justice.”

 KJV Bible              “Let’s think for a moment about the two kinds of laws—which law provides true justice? Dr. Marlow makes no distinction between humans and animals. His law is simple: those who are strong rule and prevail over everything and everyone else.” Jacob placed his right hand firmly upon the rock and continued. “The law of Nature requires animals to kill other animals for food. In the law of the Bible, on the other hand, God tells us not to kill or eat other people. Why not?”

“It’s wrong!” The students exclaimed indignantly, in vigorous unison.

                “How do you know it’s wrong?”

                Jacob waited.

                “Well,” Preston began slowly. “There simply is no justice in murder and cannibalism. I don’t know why … Somehow I just know that.”

compass liahona   “Men often create laws to try to change God’s commandments,” Jacob continued, “but God’s laws never change. When He created our eternal souls, He planted those unchangeable moral laws in our minds and hearts. It’s called—”

                “Our conscience.” Preston nodded. “Of course! I see that now.”

                “Yes. The Bible contains our true moral compass in writing. And that, Preston, is why the Bible matters.”

More About Birthright Covenant series

[1] Isaiah 29:16

[2] John Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding; Great Books of the Western World, vol.35

[3] These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the Creator Himself in all His dispensations conforms. William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1:59-60

[4] Genesis 1:22,24

[5] 1 Corinthians 14:33

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Science: God, Intelligent Design, and Rush Limbaugh

Evidence of Intelligent Design in the Creation of Man

key35,000 hair cells in each ear. With all due respect to the workings of these fine doctors (who got their brilliant minds from God—face it!), and the wonderful things they have been able to do to save Rush’s career, they cannot duplicate what God did originally. This God-given miracle is evidence of things not seen which are true. Anyone who can see the fruits of this work and still deny intelligent design by God in the creation is deceiving himself. A true scientist with integrity accepts empirical evidence. Unfortunately, junk scientists have been living the fraud for so long that perhaps they have forgotten what “empirical” even means.

No Joke!

God’s Contest with self-proclaimed “Scientists”

 

creationhandsOne day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him.

The scientist walked up to God and said, “God, we’ve decided that we no longer need you. We’re to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don’t you just go on and get lost.”

God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the scientist was done talking, God said, “Very well, how about this?

Let’s say we have a man-making contest.” To which the scientist replied, “Okay, great!”

But God added, “Now, we’re going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.”

The scientist said, “Sure, no problem” and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.

God looked at him and said, “No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!”

 

Rush Limbaugh

After exhaustive research, which included even witnessing a live surgery, I decided to get a cochlear implant on the right side.

RushHearingWhen I got my original cochlear implant 13 years ago — I still can’t believe it’s been that long — 13 years ago I was told to leave my right ear alone, ’cause what happens in a cochlear implant surgery, well, I was told back then that they take, in essence, the guts of the ear out. So if there were to be a cure, I need my right side untouched so that the cure could be applied to it.  I was told the cure might be happening in 10 years.  Ten years came and went and I was assured there’s not gonna be a cure for what caused my deafness any time soon.

The cure, incidentally, for what caused my deafness, would also be the cure for baldness.  The human ear has 35,000 hair cells.  That’s a lot.  They’re microscopic, you can’t see ’em except under microscope, telescope, and they’re different sizes, widths, lengths, as I understand it.  That many hair cells are what create frequency response of the human ear, enabling us to hear whatever we are able to hear.  Dogs, of course, animals have better hearing than we do. Their frequency range is higher.  Ours is what it is.  There are 35,000 of them in both ears, 35,000 each, and mine are laying down dead.

My autoimmune system thought that my ears were a disease and flooded my ears with white blood cells fending off what it thought was an illness.  What they tried to do to stop it was to give me chemotherapy drugs and all kinds of stuff to just stop my immune system, and it didn’t work.  I’ve never been on as many drugs with as many side effects in my life during the process of losing hearing in my left ear.  I left the right ear vacant in case they came up with a cure for baldness.  Well, they’re obviously not gonna come up with a cure for baldness.

Also, 13 years ago the best thinking in the science of cochlear implants was you only need one, because the frequency response — replacing those 35,000 hair cells, depending the implant you get, are 18 to 21 bionic or man-made electrodes, and there’s simply no way that those electrodes can come anywhere near replicating the natural human ear and the 35,000 hair cells.  It’s impossible for me to describe, or anybody that has a cochlear implant, it’s impossible to describe what things sound like. It’s totally artificial because in my memory of hearing there isn’t anything I ever remember hearing that sounds like the way I hear things now.  The closest that I could come to it — and this doesn’t get there, but, I mean, this is the closest in trying to help people understand how I hear things is scratchy, static AM radio.  That’s not it, but that’s as close as I can get.

Music.  I don’t have the frequency response to identify melodies, even music that I’ve heard.  My memory supplies the melody.  I can turn on one of my favorite songs from the seventies, if I didn’t know what the song is, if I don’t have a piece of text or if I don’t have somebody tell me, I will not recognize it.  I need to know what it is.  When I do, then my memory supplies the melody and the lyric and I can hear it.  But if I don’t know what it is, it’s just noise of the same note. Music in a movie, the soundtrack to a movie sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard. That’s what violins sound like.

RushHearing2I’m not complaining.  I’m just trying to explain it.  You adapt to it.  It’s miraculous.  The way I look at this is, you look at the timeline of humanity, whatever length of time, billion years, 10,000, whatever number of years human beings have been on the earth, make that a 50-foot string, in your mind.  And on that 50-foot string is the time we’re alive.  That’s a speck of sand on that 50-foot string, maybe not even that big.  And isn’t it amazing that the time I happen to be alive on that 50-foot string also coincides with when humanity’s brilliance and intelligence, technological achievement has advanced to the point of inventing the cochlear implant.

If this had happened to me 10 years before it did, it would have meant the end of my career and there wouldn’t be any of this today.  To think of 10 years in the whole timeline, it’s miraculous.  So I’m describing this, not complaining at all.  Don’t misunderstand.  It’s not the point anyway.  I’m just trying to help everybody understand what happens here, ’cause it’s totally artificial.

The best science 13 years ago has been replaced by “we now think bilateral,” meaning both ears, “is the way to go.  If it doesn’t improve your speech comprehension, it will at least improve your awareness of where sounds are coming from.”  Right now I can’t tell you where sound is coming from.  I mean, I can be in a room with one person with no other noise, and if I don’t see that person and they start talking to me, I don’t know where they are.  I’m not able to tell.  I’m not able to identify where a sound is coming from.

Anyway, so just to wrap this all up, some of the questions I get from people, “Well, do people sound like they used to?”  Yeah.  If I’ve heard somebody’s voice before I lost my hearing it sounds pretty close to what they used to sound like. But it’s like music; if I’m hearing somebody for the first time, their voice is distinctive to me but I don’t know if it’s the way their voice really sounds to other people.  I do not recognize a car alarm because of the frequency.  I recognize a car alarm when I hear one because I know the changing sound of it, the “do wa, ooh, wa, ooh, wa,” whatever it is.  But I don’t hear the tone that it is.

High notes on a piano, I don’t hear ’em.  I hear it but I don’t hear the note.  All music sounds flat to me, is the best way I can describe it.  A car horn sounds like a buzzer to me.  But you adapt. You learn what things are and you relearn how to hear and everything is actually quite normal.

Read more about Rush’s Hearing Repair