Tag Archives: Science

second coming and solar eclipse

The Second Coming and the Solar Eclipse

The Second Coming

The Second Coming of Jesus is real. It stands today as certain Bible prophecy. Jesus Himself said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:3). No Christian denies a return of Jesus at some point. But, and this is important, Scripture never specifies when Jesus will return. Instead, He tells his disciples to watch and be ready for His return (Matthew 25:13, Luke 21:34).

The certainty of Jesus’ return and the uncertainty of the date give rise to a roiling ocean of foolishness and false teaching. It hurts and disappoints those who trust in it, but it is also fodder for news reports that poke fun at all Christians.

The solar eclipse of April 8, 2024, is the latest “sign” that Jesus is about to return. Eric Vanden Eykel of Ferrum College writes about the constant predicting of Christ’s return through atmospheric and celestial signs. He writes, “Religious theories surrounding this eclipse are part of a larger pattern of attempts to find meaning in astronomical events that goes back thousands of years.” In other words, people were erroneously predicting the Second Coming long before our modern-day charlatans.  

But Jesus said, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only (Matthew 24:36, c.f. verse 50). Clearly, these preachers must think Jesus was mistaken!

Book authors and televangelists like Hal Lindsey and John Hagee frequently promote random events as signs of Jesus’ near return. The passage of time debunked Lindsey’s claim that Armageddon would come in the 1980’s. Eykel writes, “Lindsey was wrong, of course; the 1980s did not bring about the apocalypse. But this way of thinking – of seeking to find significance in various random events like eclipses – persists among some Christians.” Hagee is just as wrong.

Christians should vigorously oppose nonsensical end-time teaching. First, because it’s wrong, and second because it harms the faith in the eyes of the lost.

However, stunning phenomena like a total eclipse, a meteor, or a hurricane, bear witness to the power of the Creator. The perfectly tuned Universe which allows for precise predictions of the eclipse’s path and timing, speaks to the demand for a designer. God’s glory is on full display. Why would anyone want to add such silliness to what will be evident in the heavens?

The Bible says Jesus is coming again. The Bible does not say when. Be satisfied in Christ now and live watchfully and expectantly. It’s time for the speculation to pass.

Is That in the Bible?

Have you ever popped out a quick proverb, credited it to Scripture and then discovered that it’s not really from the Bible? Apparently a lot of people have. Some sayings and quick quips just sound Biblical but may actually be phantom verses. Many times the idea is Scriptural but the actual words are not. An article at CNN points out some of the more common misquotes.

One particular quote that can be very tricky concerns Jonah. We often say Jonah was swallowed by a whale and for three days lived in the belly of the whale. Actually the Bible says it this way: Continue reading Is That in the Bible?

Is Religion Becoming Extinct?

No it is not. Religion, at least the true faith of the Bible, is here to stay. However the BBC is reporting on a group of mathematicians and statisticians who have declared that religion may soon be extinct. They use complex mathematical formula to analyze declining religious affiliation in various countries. But they miss one important point:

“…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18)

That says it all.

While numbers may rise and fall, the church stands. Once true religion is gone all hope likewise vanishes. And so far as I am concerned, my religion will not become extinct as long as I live even if I am the only one left who believes in Jesus as the Son of God and in his power alone to save.


Your thoughts?

Jonah and the Whale Could Not Have Happened!

One of the most memorable Biblical stories is that of Jonah and the great fish found in the Old Testament book of Jonah. Almost everyone knows the story. But now we learn that it didn’t happen. That’s right. Some “experts” who also claim to be Christians have decided that the science rules out the possibility that a man could live inside a great fish for three days and three nights. Let’s think about this.

If the story of Jonah is not true, God did not create the heavens and the earth

We really cannot discount the story of Jonah unless we are willing to say that the Creation came by some means other than God. After all, it would be a small thing for God to cause a great fish to swallow a single man if he created all men.

If the story of Jonah is not true, Jesus was not raised from the dead

The resurrection of Jesus is the greatest event in Biblical history. Paul goes so far as to say that if the resurrection is false, our faith is in vain (1 Corinthians 15:13-14). If God could not cause a man to live inside a fish for three days, he cannot raise Jesus. And if Jesus is not raised then why bother with our faith.

If the story of Jonah is not true, Jesus & God lie

It is God’s word that makes the claim of Jonah. If it is false, God is false and cannot be trusted. Likewise, Jesus speaks of Jonah in Matthew 12:40 (and other places). If Jonah is not real, Jesus is mistaken or a liar and if mistake or a liar he cannot be the divine God worthy of worship.

When we quickly submit to scientific analysis of spiritual claims we set ourselves up for failure. Science cannot answer the questions of the soul because such things are beyond the reach of their methods. If we must choose between a scientist or God I am with God. How about you?

Hawking Misses the Point About Science and God

Acclaimed physicist Stephen Hawking says God is not necessary. In a new book Hawking declares that a superior, divine being is not needed to explain the existence of the Universe. In the book he argues that creation can be explained by the presence of gravity. The story is at CNN.com:

“Hawking says in his book “The Grand Design” that, given the existence of gravity, “the universe can and will create itself from nothing,” according to an excerpt published Thursday in The Times of London.”

He continues by giving us a peak at what did actually cause the Creation:

“His answer is “M-theory,” which, he says, posits 11 space-time dimensions, “vibrating strings, … point particles, two-dimensional membranes, three-dimensional blobs and other objects that are more difficult to picture and occupy even more dimensions of space.” He doesn’t explain much of that in the excerpt, which is the introduction to the book.”

This is not a terribly surprising statement from a scientist given  the usual atheistic themes often promoted by some scientists. But it is notable because of the one who made the pronouncement. Hawking is not only an accomplished physicist respected among his peers but also a well known popular writer. Some will no doubt gain  Continue reading Hawking Misses the Point About Science and God

The Re-Thinking of Dark Energy

Some scientists are beginning to reconsider the concept of dark energy. Christians can learn a few things from this possible change.

Dark energy is described in various ways. Here is the Wikipedia description:

“In physical cosmology & astronomy dark energy is a hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to increase the rate of expansion of the universe. Dark energy is the most popular way to explain recent observations that the universe appears to be expanding at an accelerating rate. In the standard model of cosmology, dark energy currently accounts for 74% of the total mass-energy of the universe.”

Physicsworld.com says it this way:

“New evidence has confirmed that the expansion of the universe is accelerating under the influence of a gravitationally repulsive form of energy that makes up two-thirds of the cosmos.”

galaxyThe April 2009 edition of Scientific American magazine, written by University of Oxford cosmologists Timothy Clifton and Pedro G. Ferreira, notes that slight deviations in the brightness of exploding stars could have a different explanation which does not require the exotic (their words) idea of dark energy. ((Timothy Clifton and Pedro G. Ferreira, Scientific American, April, 2009, Vol. 300, #4, pg. 48)) The details are, for our purposes here, not terribly relevant. But in essence, some are doubting whether the universe is perfectly uniform and consistent throughout its expanse. This “fundamental postulate” ((ibid)) has lain as one of the bedrocks of science reaching back to its earliest vague beginnings with Copernicus in the 16th century. It was this idea of the uniformity of the universe which led astronomers to theorize the concept of “dark energy.” If this very old theory of uniform density (homogeneity) and uniform appearance (isotrophy) is untrue then dark energy is no longer indicated.

Dark energy has never been seen, tested or adequately demonstrated. It has been required however to make other measurements fit the accepted norm. It has been a very widely accepted theory for the past 11 years or so. Where did it come from? It arose because something was amiss in the calculations of the size and rate of expansion of the universe. If the universe was really accelerating its expansion then there had to be some other “thing” causing it. Since no one knew of any other “thing” causing it, science created it and called the new “thing” “dark energy.” That is an extremely simplistic explanation but is, I believe, painfully true.

What A Move Away from Dark Energy Shows

To be fair, dark energy has never achieved the widespread acceptance that evolution has. In fact, most people are not even aware of this theorized component of the universe. Children are not routinely taught about dark energy in grade school and boards of education do not battle over its inclusion in textbooks. However it is, nonetheless, a part of the foundation of science along with other supporting theories. All of this is now being re-considered in light of better and stronger scholarship.

Should dark energy eventually end up on the trash heap of rejected scientific theories it will remind us of a few vital facts.

  1. Science is not infallible. Science must be understood as an ever evolving process whereby theories are constantly challenged and subject to modification or outright rejection when new information becomes available.
  2. Science can and must change. The true scientist will never hold so closely to his pet theory that he is unwilling to change it. To be ethical, professional and honorable scientists must be always willing to take a second look and discard their previous thinking. In reality, there is no such thing as having the “last word” in a scientific discussion.
  3. Science must never be arrogant. Science has brought untold benefits to humanity and will continue to do so. But because change lies at the heart of science its practitioners must never assume that they alone are the sole keepers of knowledge.
  4. Science and Religion Both Are Faith-Based. Although dark energy was never seen or directly tested scientists believed it existed. To borrow a Bible phrase, their belief was the “the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Now, rave and complain as they may, at the end of the day certain things must be assumed or accepted. Dark energy was one of them.
  5. Religion does not change. Jesus Christ died “once for all” (Hebrews 9:28; Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18). Our faith was “once for all” delivered unto us (Jude 3). While religion and faith certainly do change, they ought not. God has given us all we need and man cannot improve upon it.

I do not know what will happen with the dark energy debate. Much research and study remains. Even if it is completely discarded many will still cling to the supposed infallibility of science.  But the mere fact that it is possibly changing helps us put science and research into a proper place. I am not anti-science. I spent 10 years working on the cutting edge of medical science as an RN in critical care and cardiac nursing. But we must understand that science really does have serious limitations. That’s a lesson many scientists who are quick to ridicule religion ought to learn.

New Discovery May Bypass Embryonic Stem Cells

The debate over the creation, harvesting and use of embryonic stem cells may be a little closer to becoming moot.

An embryonic stem cell colony magnified
An embryonic stem cell colony magnified

Researchers have found a way of reprogramming cells to carry out different functions. The research in mice essentially eliminates the need for embryonic cells which have been hotly debated for years.

Embryonic stem cells are the most basic, original cells created when life is formed in the womb. Pro-abortionists and many scientists hailed ESC’s as the great hope for diseases like diabetes, parkinson’s, ALS, spinal cord trauma and a host of other tragedies. Pro-life groups have argued that the cells are living beings from the time of birth and ought not be consumed to improve quality of life issues or even life and death illness.

The story, reported on the CNN website, warns that the procedure is not ready for work in humans but is an advance toward solutions that do not involve embryonic stem cells.

Apologetics Press, a Montgomery, Alabama based scientific publishing company has a series of articles on stem cells that begin with issue one and are continuing.