My Tyndalian Quest

William TyndaleI have finally returned to my long neglected blog with a renewed sense of direction and purpose thanks to Reasons To Believe’s online class Creation versus Evolution.  I expected to learn from the class, but I was also surprised and inspired.

To make very long story exquisitely short: I entered the class believing that there is no compelling scientific evidence that humanity and chimpanzees have been evolving for millions of years from a common ancestor, and the class thoroughly confirmed that belief.  However, the surprise and the inspiration came in my discovery that many (if not most) proponents of Darwinian evolution seem to be blissfully ignorant of the lack of concrete evidence to support the descent of man.  I came to that conclusion while reading Icons of Evolution by Jonathan Wells, and I would now call the book a must-read for every creationist with children enrolled in public school.

I finished the RTB class with a clear mission patterned after William Tyndale’s famous response to the priest who called it heresy to offer the word of God in English instead of Latin.

“If God spare my life, before very long I shall cause a plough boy to know the scriptures better than you do!”

I state my goal with less flare, but hopefully with just as much desire to please the Lord. 

By God’s grace, I will do all that I can to help creationists in grade school have a better understanding of our origin than many of the celebrated Darwinists in academia.  

Secure in the knowledge that God uses the weak things of the world to confound the strong, I am about to begin Gramma’s Guide to Origins, which will eventually tell you two things:

  1. How I chose the myth that undergirds my belief about life,
  2. How I choose the prophets who interpret God’s word and God’s world for me

I hope that as you read, you will recognize your own myth and become curious about the myths of others.  I hope to convince you that you are obligated to be aware of the myths of those who write textbooks and teach in public schools because those myths are being impressed on young minds around the nation.

Eventually, I plan to put this all in a single document that I can share easily.   So you could wait for my final edit, but God alone knows how long that will take.  Or you can just follow along, offering encouragement and/or critique, on my Tyndalian mission of translating the speech of creation into the language we all understand.

Seeking truth seekers

Beverly Wheeler

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

Before I proceed with a discussion about the age of the earth controversy in the church, I want to describe my target audience. Although I welcome everyone to read this blog, I am writing specifically to people who share a common set of values with me.

  • I believe that we can know the truth and that the truth will set us free.
  • I purpose to follow truth wherever it leads and accept truth wherever I find it.
  • I want anything false in my thinking to be exposed and corrected.
  • I think that honest, courteous discussion can be a path toward truth.

Those four values might fit into any worldview, and anyone who shares them may find it worthwhile to read Grammas’ Guide.  However, I begin this discussion on a foundation of two solid convictions forged in a sixty-year journey toward truth:

  • Jesus Christ is the Creator and Savior of mankind.
  • The Bible (both Old and New Testaments) is truth in its entirety.

In the future, I will probably discuss the reasons for my absolute belief in these two premises. However, in Grammas’ Guide, I always write with assurance that Jesus is Lord and His word is true.

Now you can decide whether or not you want to follow or join this discussion.

The Hunger Games leave the reader starving for God.

My nephew handed me his copy of The Hunger Games and ended my internal debate over whether or not I would read it. Catching Fire and Mockingjay came to me soon afterwards: Samuel reads rapidly.

I knew the plot and the characters before I opened the first book because my interest in the story began at Speculative Faith in an online discussion with spoilers. Curiosity immediately sent me to Amazon reviews where I switched back and forth between five-star and one-star opinions. Within a few minutes I learned the fates of Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, and Prim.

Only one thing took me totally by surprise when I actually read the trilogy: the crushing avalanche of despair that pours continuously from the pages. The first two books end in defeat. On the last page of the third book I saw a single dandelion growing in a mountain of destruction. The Hunger Games is certainly not a feel-good epic!

Reactions to the books vary from love to hate, but ambivalent is the only word to describe my own opinion. I agree with those who believe that child on child violence is not an appropriate subject for impressionable young readers. I also agree with those who believe that the consequence of war is an appropriate subject for everyone to consider.

Suzanne Collins does show readers the physical, mental, and emotional destruction that comes with war, and that may be reason enough to read her books. But it is not the reason I recommend them. Whatever her intention in the story may be, Collins paints a world where godlessness leads to the moral disintegration of humanity. The Hunger Games open a door for the discussion about civilization starved for God, and that is why I think they are worth reading.

I have been captivated by apologetics since I first read C.S. Lewis’s reasoned defense of the Faith in Mere Christianity. Whenever I do housework, instead of music, I often listen to a William Lane Craig debate or a Reasons to Believe podcast.  I am well acquainted with Richard Dawkins and the New AtheismThe Hunger Games show how the zealous proselytizing of 21st century atheism is an instrument in the hand of our almighty God. It serves to spread of the gospel by forcing people to consider their Creator and answer questions that have eternal consequences.

Each reasoned encounter between theist and atheist simply repeats Joshua’s command, “Choose this day whom you will serve.” (Joshua 24:15) Each debate puts God in the front and center in every argument and in every rebuttal,  in every question and in every answer. Each individual who listens to the debaters must decide whether he trusts in God or trusts in matter and energy as the best explanation for our present reality. Each time Dawkins denies God’s existence in a public forum, he openly confronts the Creator he wants to flee.

In The Hunger Games the debate is over, and atheism’s triumphant end  is godlessness. Panem is a world where no one can make the moral argument for the existence of God. Cultural relativism is the universal philosophy in what remains of North America. Poor Katniss lives tormented by a shredded image of God in her soul, but she cannot find Him among the defeated people in District 12 or among the ruthless conquerors in the Capitol.  Her determination to remain childless, her difficulty bonding with Peeta, and her suicidal mission all make perfect sense in a world without God, without ultimate purpose, and without eternal hope.

As Gramma’s Guide to The Hunger Games continues in my next post, I will tell you why I think  Katniss is an excellent example of a mythical hero.