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DO “VIOLENT NAMES” PROVE ANIMAL DEATH PRIOR TO THE FALL?

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. According to the creation account in Genesis 1-2, the world that God created and saw as “very good” featured no death of any sort, which necessarily means that animals did not originally eat other animals; indeed, Genesis 1:29-30 clearly states that both man and animals were to be plant-eaters: And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed …

THE KING JAMES VERSION VS. THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION: A Response to James L. Melton’s “The NKJV: A Deadly Translation”

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. (Melton’s article is found http://jesus-is-lord.com/nkjvdead.htm.  Accessed on February 20, 2012.) The words of Scripture were divinely inspired (“God-breathed” 2 Timothy 3:16) in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek languages, and it is these texts that are inerrant and infallible.  Every version in English or any other language is a translation of the inspired text, and is not itself an inspired text.  Translations …

NOT SO FAST: Why Fasting Is Unnecessary and Inappropriate for Christians

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. The ancient practice of fasting seems to be growing rapidly in popularity in evangelical circles.  It is entering churches as an element of “spiritual formation,” and books on the topic are proliferating, making grandiose promises, books such as Fasting: Opening the Door to a Deeper, More Intimate, More Powerful Relationship with God (by Jentezen Franklin), Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough (by Elmer L. …

SHOULD CHRISTIANS PRACTISE MEDITATION?

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. It seems not long ago that the greatest perceived spiritual threat in the minds of Evangelicals was the New Age Movement, an amorphous constellation of beliefs and practices focused on developing the divine potential of human beings.  In essence, it was the basic worldview and practices of the Eastern mystic religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism) packaged for a modern Western audience.  The degree …

IS CREATIONISM NOT APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN? Exposing the Muddled Thinking of Bill Nye “the Science Guy”

© 2012, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Bill Nye, the mechanical engineer and well known host of the 1990s Disney/PBS educational show “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” is an ardent advocate of the theory of evolution.  On August 23, a video was posted on YouTube titled “Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate for Children.”  It was designed to persuade people to stop teaching creationism to children and embrace evolution, …

BRETHREN AGAINST CHRIST: An Indictment of The Brethren in Christ of North America’s “The Biblical Basis for Women in Church Leadership and Pastoral Ministry”

© 2011, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) There is a slogan popular among Evangelical Christians that goes as follows: “The Bible says it.  I believe it.  That settles it.”  Though it is popular, it …

MARK 16:9-20: A Response to CMI

© 2011, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. The Three-Headed Monster The historical era misnamed The Enlightenment, which began in the seventeenth century, was characterized by the exaltation of human reason as the means to determine truth, with the concomitant denigration of the concept of divine revelation.  In particular, the credibility of the Bible came under sustained attack by Enlightenment scholars and philosophers who sought to portray the Bible not …

CHEATING THEMSELVES THROUGH PHILOSOPHY: A Demolition of “The Rights and Wrongs of Alan Dershowitz” in Claremont Review of Books (Fall, 2005)

© 2011, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. As a salvo in the debate over natural law versus revelation, the article “The Rights and Wrongs of Alan Dershowitz” by Hadley Arkes, published in the Fall 2005 issue of Claremont Review of Books[1], is a noteworthy contribution.  It is noteworthy, however, because it does such a good job of destroying its own argument for natural law.  And it does it so …

DO YOU HAVE TO STOP THINKING TO BE A CHRISTIAN? A Response to Charles Lewis (National Post, January 26, 2011)

© 2011, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. In an opinion piece titled “Less God, more excuses” in this day’s National Post newspaper (p. A15), Charles Lewis writes the following: The most popular objection to religion is that it replaces thinking with sets of unproveable truths – and that the rules flowing out of those truths turn adherents into robots.  Those who leave religion behind, we are led to understand, …

HOW NOT TO DO HERMENEUTICS: A Response to Daniel Mann’s “Jesus: The ‘Begotten of the Father’” (Christian Research Journal 34(2), 2011, pp.8-9)

© 2011, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. The writer to the Hebrews, in demonstrating the superiority of the Son of God to angels, quotes Psalm 2:7, saying For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are my Son, Τoday I have begotten you”? (Hebrews 1:5). In this CRJ article, Daniel Mann calls this a “controversial verse” and a “problem”, pointing out that this verse suggests to …

WHAT IS FAITH?

© 2010, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. First, faith is defined as “complete trust or confidence” (Webster’s), “complete trust, unquestioning confidence” (Oxford), and as such it is something everyone practises, including your atheist friend, in ways both profound and mundane.  For example, which of us would approach a complete stranger and ask him to cook us a meal, and then actually go to his place and eat it?  Yet …

ON THE MERITS OF THE SEPTUAGINT: A Response to Floyd Nolen Jones’ “The Chronology of the Old Testament”

© 2010, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Prolegomena There are Christians who believe that the King James Version is a divinely inspired translation and is the only true Word of God in the English language.  They hold to this position by faith, though it is not faith in what the Word of God says, since nowhere in the Bible does God say that He will have a divinely inspired …

ROMAN CATHOLICISM

© 2010. All Rights Reserved. Introduction I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, …

ATHEISM

© 2010, by Ruth Lee. All Rights Reserved. Introduction According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, ‘Atheism’ is defined as a disbelief in the existence of deity (God or a supreme being) or the doctrine that there is no deity.  Atheism is from the Greek, ‘a’ – without – and ‘theos’ – god.  Throughout history and in the days of Jesus, there were people who believed in God and those who did not.  …

JUDAISM

© 2010, by Diane Hong. All Rights Reserved. What Is It? Judaism, the name is derived from the tribe Judah, one of the twelve ancient tribes of Israel.  The religion of Judaism and between being Jewish are two different things; it is quite common to be Jewish ethnically and culturally but not practice the Jewish faith.  There are four branches of Judaism: Orthodox, Hasidic, Reform and Conservative. Orthodox Judaism means …

A SECOND CAINAN?

© 2009, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. The genealogy of Jesus given by Luke includes a certain “Cainan” (Luke 3:36) who is indicated to be the son of Arphaxad and father of Shelah.  In the Old Testament, Arphaxad was the father of Shelah (Salah), according to Genesis 10:24 and 11:12, and 1 Chronicles 1:18.  There is no Cainan between Arphaxad and Shelah in the Hebrew Masoretic text, though he …

A BRIEF OVERVIEW ON BIBLE TRANSLATION

© 2009, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction Translation is the process of expressing in one language (the “target” language) what was said or written in a different language (the “original” language).  For us, it is expressing the original text of the Bible (which was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek) in English.  Many such translations have been made through the years.  There are two factors to consider …

A PRIMER ON ENTROPY (THE SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS)

© 2009, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. The significance of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (the Law of Entropy) for the question of the origin of life is profound, yet it is not well understood by the general public as it is a field of specialized study in engineering and physics; it is not something well taught in high schools. First, to present this law in simple terms, it …

PROBABILITY AND THE ORIGIN OF LIFE

© 2009, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. It is the common belief that the mechanism for evolution is natural selection acting on random mutations.  This means that evolution is fundamentally dependent on chance.  This also applies at the pre-biotic stage, which is known as chemical evolution: Simple chemicals, we are told, combined to form basic organic molecules (amino acids) by chance.  These simple amino acids came together to form …

DEBUNKING SKY & TELESCOPE MAGAZINE’S ATTEMPT TO GET AROUND EVOLUTION’S THERMODYNAMIC PROBLEM

© 2009, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. In the article “The New Habitable Zones” in Sky & Telescope 118(4). Posted on October 2009, Chris Impey writes Life exists because we live in a universe where energy flowing through a system tends to organize that system, into ever more complex and unpredictable forms.  (The Second Law of Thermodynamics is not violated; organization happens at the expense of heat, or disorganized …

THE NEED FOR ADEQUACY AS WELL AS ACCURACY

© 2009, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Years ago, a junior high school English teacher told us this story: “There was a certain man once.  This man was a patriot who loved his country.  When his country was in dire straits, he wrote a book detailing the way forward, and this book became a bestseller.  The man was elected to government and eventually became the head of his country.  …

THE NATURE OF SCIENCE

© 2009, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. In order to come to a proper understanding about what science says about origins, it is essential to understand the nature of science.  Yet, in my experience, most people do not understand it.  They fail to grasp science’s methodology, its limitations, the relationship between theories and laws, and so on.  So let us clarify these matters. Science begins simply with observation, with …