Assessments of Ministries and Teachers
IS JESUS OUR “KINSMAN-REDEEMER”? Christmas Follies from Creation Ministries International
© 2020, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction While Creation Ministries International (CMI) is very good on their core competency – scientific creationism – when it comes to other matters, they are less than stellar. Their Christmas Eve article this year contains four plain errors, of varying degrees of importance. We discuss them below. Quirinius and the Census One of the most common attacks on the historical reliability of …
IS 1 CORINTHIANS 15:3-7 AN EARLY CHRISTIAN CREED TESTIFYING TO THE TRUTH OF THE RESURRECTION? Another Example of the Failure of Evangelical Scholarship
© 2020, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at …
CHOOSING YOUR EPISTEMOLOGICAL MASTER: What Hugh Ross’ Latest Attack on Young-Earth Creationism Reveals about Old-Earth Creationists
© 2020, by John Tors. All Rights Reserved. Introduction “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.” (Matthew 6:24a) In His sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught the truth that one cannot truly serve two masters, that each one who tries to do so will eventually choose one …
THE INSPIRATION OF SCRIPTURE: An Explanation and a Response to Creation Ministries International’s Problematic View
Creation Ministries International’s article “The inspiration of Scripture comes in various forms” contains problematic errors, including slavish adherence to the Masoretic text, uncritical acceptance of the claim that the Gospel books are of the bioi genre (an idea being used to destroy Biblical inerrancy), and the claim that the Pentateuch is the “final form” updated by multiple editors.
DOES JESUS MISQUOTE THE OLD TESTAMENT? Creation Ministries International (CMI) Undermines Inerrancy Again
It is late in the year for a new, winning entrant into the “Most Ironic Statement of the Year” contest, but Creation Ministries International (CMI) duo of Lita Cosner and Robert Carter seem to have done it; it is difficult to imagine that anything in the last few days of 2019 will top this one: No one should be ridiculed for not being able to do good textual analysis—unless they claim to be doing good textual analysis. We …
SALVATION BY GRACE ALONE THROUGH FAITH ALONE: What about James 2:24?
Prima facie, James 2:24 seems to say that works are needed for salvation. However, careful exegesis of the original Greek text shows that James is not, in fact, saying “that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only,” but that a man is justified by acts of commitment, and not by intellectual belief alone.
THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER AND THE EVANGELICAL BETRAYAL OF THE BIBLE: Exposing the Major Weapons Levied against the Trustworthiness of the Bible
The Bible has come under attack by liberal scholars using three main weapons: historical criticism, textual criticism, and Darwinism. The acceptance by evangelical scholars of the liberal paradigm assumptions has led to an erosion of belief in inerrancy and undermines the case for Christianity.
WHY THERE IS AN ERROR IN MARK 1:2 IN YOUR BIBLE: Another Example of the Evangelical Betrayal of the Bible
The original reading of Mark 1:2 is not “in Isaiah the prophet”, which is an error that evangelical scholars who accept Griesbach’s canons unsuccessfully try to dodge. The reading “in the prophets” is found in the overwhelming majority of manuscripts and the earliest and best material, including the writings of Irenaeus.
CREATION MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL AND THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER: WHY THE MONSTER WINS
While CMI does excellent work in battling Darwinism, in the areas of historical criticism and textual criticism they readily defer to evangelical scholars such as James Patrick Holding, passing along liberal paradigm assumptions which undermine the credibility of the Bible and the doctrine of inerrancy.
FRAGMENTS OF ERROR: Creation Ministries International (CMI) Errs Yet Again on Textual Criticism
It is safe to assume that the various functionaries of Creation Ministries International (CMI) feel a great deal of frustration over the fact that their well reasoned arguments for young-earth creationism are not accepted by professing Christians who are supposed to view the Bible as the very word of God. Perhaps they are even more frustrated when such Christians do not even reject CMI’s arguments but ignore them completely, as if CMI were just whistling in the wind. If so, they can understand our frustration at CMI’s refusal to consider the facts …
SHERMER’S ERROR AND THE MEANING OF LIFE: Another Failed Attempt to Find Meaning in an Atheistic Life
Every attempt by atheists to identify meaning in life ends up with them promoting views they personally prefer as if they were absolute and meaningful. Shermer utterly fails to show that evolution has bestowed morality or purpose-driven life on us.
“IGNORANT OF HIS DEVICES” Creation Ministries International (CMI) Errs Again on Textual Criticism
Attacking the trustworthiness of the word of God remains in the forefront of Satan’s devices, and this is not surprising. While Christianity is at its heart about reconciliation with God through His Son Jesus Christ (e.g. 2 Corinthians 5:19), all the objective knowledge we have about Jesus Christ, about the Triune God, about sin and salvation and Godliness and eternal life comes from the Bible, so our view of its reliability is crucial.
“THAT’S JUST YOUR INTERPRETATION!”: A Response to Dr. Thomas Howe on Understanding the Bible
Univocal propositional statements cannot be “interpreted” to mean something other than what the words and syntactical construction convey. If we can understand such statements made by people even though we are not infallible, we can understand God’s propositional statements in the Bible.
FATAL PROBLEMS WITH REASONED ECLECTICISM TEXTUAL CRITICISM: Follow-up Comments on the Tors/Costa New Testament Text Debate (Part 2)
If the Alexandrian text type is closest to the original, how did the Byzantine text come to have such an overwhelming numerical majority?
TEXTUAL CRITICISM AND THE END OF BIBLICAL INERRANCY: Follow-up Comments on the Tors/Costa New Testament Text Debate (Part 1)
Every saying of a prophet recorded in a book of the Bible was first said and then written. Therefore, it is perfectly correct to describe any quote of any saying by any prophet as “as was spoken by the prophet.”
THE ASSAULT ON INERRANCY AND WHAT IS AT STAKE: A Final Word to Nick Peters
We have previously posted some rather pointed rebuttals of the claims of a certain Nick Peters, along with various scholars he champions, regarding the inerrancy of the Bible and, predictably, it was not well received by some.
DROWNING IN DEEPER WATERS: A Response to Nick Peters and Another Look at the Evangelical Betrayal of the Bible
The idea that the Bible is inerrant has de facto been discarded, and its authority has therefore been severely undermined.
MARK 1:2 REVISITED: A Response to James Patrick Holding
The lesson from this story ought to be clear: A wrong answer does not become right simply by being reasserted more loudly and more stridently.
YES, JESUS REALLY DID EXIST: Refuting Maclean’s Magazine’s Latest Madness
The article is the same farrago of unsubstantiated allegations, bald assertions, and refusal to consider relevant evidence that always characterized this sort of article.
WHO IS FALLIBLE? Proper Exegesis and the Origins of the Earth
For those who are interested, there is plenty of scientific evidence that supports an earth that is no more than 10,000 years old. Why more Christians are not aware of these is a mystery.
DOES GENESIS 2:4-5 CONTRADICT SIX-DAY YOUNG-EARTH CREATIONISM? A Response to Meredith Kline
Meredith Kline, overlooking that Genesis 1 is full of miraculous acts, argues that Genesis 2:4-5 disproves six-day young-earth creationism, because if the divine providence was operating through normal processes, then, for example, plants could not have been created before the sun.
THE MUSTARD SEED REVISITED: A Look at a Critical Review
Our solution to the problem that Jesus supposedly erred in calling the mustard seed the smallest of all seeds is that γῆ means a “limited area of ground for agricultural use”, which is an attested meaning. Brad Cooper argues that σπέρμα here means “agricultural seed,” but this is not an attested meaning.
DID JESUS ERR ABOUT THE SIZE OF MUSTARD SEEDS? A Case Study in How to Do Serious Evangelical Apologetics
In Mark 4:31, Jesus apparently makes a scientific error by asserting that the mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds. But in the original Greek, He did not say that. He said that a mustard seed, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on the ground, not smaller than all seeds on earth.
IS LUKE WRONG ABOUT THE DATE OF JESUS’ BIRTH? A Case Study in How to Do Serious Evangelical Apologetics (Part 1)
Luke says Jesus was born while Quirinius was governing Syria, but Matthew says Jesus was born before Herod’s death. There is no contradiction. Herod died in 1 BC, not 4 BC. The only testimony that Quirinius began to govern Syria in AD 6 is from Josephus. Luke is by far the superior historian to Josephus.
OLIVER AND HARDY AND HAHN: Debunking Greg Hahn’s Attempt to Salvage His Attack on Complementarianism
Hahn’s conceit that “the question will bring down complementarianism” is a pipe-dream, without any hope of succeeding with anyone who thinks at all about the issue; his approach is even weaker than the usual egalitarian gambits.
WHICH EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES? A Response to Greg Hahn’s Attack on Complementarianism
Hahn’s argument against complementarianism has been examined and found to be wanting in every conceivable way. His statement that “Complementarianism is bankrupt because it has no coherent biblical foundation” has been shown to be fatuous.
THE “SONS OF GOD” AND THE “DAUGHTERS OF MEN”: A Case Study in the Importance of Careful Exegesis
The nephilim in Genesis 6:1-4 were not the offspring of angels and human females. Jesus proves His bodily resurrection by appeal to the fact that spirits do not have flesh and bone. This proof is destroyed if angels could conjure up physical bodies for themselves so they could have conjugal relations.
IS A 4.6-BILLION YEAR-OLD EARTH COMPATIBLE WITH BIBLICAL INERRANCY? A Response to Norman Geisler
According to the Bible, the earth and all life originally on it were created by God in a span of six 24-hour days about six thousand years ago.
EXAMINING THE CLAIM THAT THE WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS OF JOHN 7:53-8:11 ARE MORE LUKAN THAN JOHANNINE
One of the best known stories about Jesus is His encounter with an adulteress whom He refused to condemn. The story, known in academic circles as the Pericope Adulterae, or Pericope de Adultera.
A CALL FOR SERIOUS EVANGELICAL APOLOGETICS: The Authenticity of John 7:53-8:11 as a Case Study
The evidence of the early versions, the Patristic writings, the attitude of early Christians towards altering the New Testament text, and Augustine’s testimony is consistent with, and in most cases points to, the authenticity of the Pericope Adulterae as part of the original Gospel of John.
A GLIMPSE OF HEAVEN? An Assessment of “Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back”
The claim in Heaven is for Real that little Colton Burpo went to heaven is not credible. The evidence offered as proof is insufficient. The little boy’s descriptions of what he allegedly saw in heaven do not match what Scripture says, while they do match common images he could have seen here on earth.
THE HARBINGER AND “THE ISAIAH 9:10 EFFECT”: An Examination of the Claims of Jonathan Cahn
A sensational book has taken the evangelical community by storm. First published in January, 2012, it reached The New York Times bestseller list in its second week of release, and has remained there ever since.
GOLIATH WAS THE BAD GUY, REMEMBER? An Assessment of Henri Nouwen’s Teachings
According to the author, Stephen Bede Scharper, Nouwen was a “remarkably influential spiritual explorer” who remains “a spiritual goliath.” He had found “professorial landing sites” at Notre Dame, Yale, and Harvard, and entered communities with Gustavo Guttierez, the founder of “liberation theology,” and Jean Vanier of the L’Arche community.
WOMEN AND CHURCH LEADERSHIP: An Inquiry and a Response to Pastor Keith A. Smith’s “Can Christian Women be Pastors and Preachers?”
Pastor Keith A. Smith brings up most arguments adduced to allow women pastors and preachers. The key passages are in 1 Corinthians (the context of which is judging prophetic utterances) and in 1 Timothy. Smith confuses evangelism and prophesying with holding authoritative teaching roles.
DO “VIOLENT NAMES” PROVE ANIMAL DEATH PRIOR TO THE FALL?
Old-earth creationists say that the Hebrew names of some carnivores show that animals ate one another before the Fall. But the Hebrew words for violence, death, and predation may actually have been coined after the Fall based on the names of the animals that were now seen doing such actions.
THE KING JAMES VERSION VS. THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION: A Response to James L. Melton’s “The NKJV: A Deadly Translation”
This is a response to James L. Melton’s “The NKJV: A Deadly Translation”. Changes in the New King James Version update the KJV’s language and correct some of its errors. Translations are not wrong for disagreeing with the KJV, but must be assessed by comparison with the original languages.
NOT SO FAST: Why Fasting Is Unnecessary and Inappropriate for Christians
God did not command or even show approval of fasting. Fasting is a sign of mourning, an inappropriate demeanor for the Christian. “As long as they have [Jesus] with them they cannot fast … [Jesus] is with [them] always...” Fasting is not only unnecessary, it is inappropriate and sends the wrong message.
MARK 16:9-20: A Response to CMI
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 as the word of God, but as the product of mere human …
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)
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, today 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 some that Jesus is ‘begotten’ in the sense of being created and having a beginning in time … Many cults understand this verse, and others like it, to affirm that …
ON THE MERITS OF THE SEPTUAGINT: A Response to Floyd Nolen Jones’ “The Chronology of the Old Testament”
KJV-only advocates insist that the Masoretic text is perfect. But the Dead Sea Scrolls often side with the Septuagint. The strongest evidence in favour of the Septuagint is New Testament verses containing Old Testament quotes that match the Septuagint and not the Masoretic text. If the Masoretic text is correct and the Septuagint is wrong, then the New Testament and Jesus Himself are wrong. Thus, the Masoretic Text is errant and we must practice textual criticism of the OT.
A SECOND CAINAN?
The dominant view among evangelicals seems to be that this Cainan does not belong in the genealogy, and is a scribal error introduced into Luke, probably accidentally reinserted from the legitimate Cainan in Luke 3:37.