Categories
Belief in God Bible prophecy Book of Revelation

Revelation 4

The book of Revelation chapters 4 and 5 introduce us to the throne room of God with 24 elders, 4 strange four-faced beasts, and the Lord God who lives forever and ever.

Verse 1 opens with the Lord God speaking. The “first voice…as of a trumpet” uses the same expression as in v.10 “a great voice as a trumpet”, which from v.11 we know is clearly identified as the Lord God. Thus John is given a vision of the throne room of God (v.2) set in the heavens as with the rainbow (Ezekiel 1:28). The Lord God who sat on the throne appeared to shine like “a jasper and a sardine stone” (v.3). From Revelation 21:11 we learn that a jasper is not the same as we know today but is a clear crystal that has a brilliant shine. So it could be a diamond. God’s throne is described also by Isaiah (chapter 6)  and Ezekiel (chapter 1 & 10).

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Throne room of God

There are 24 elders seated around the throne of God (v.4). Who or what they represent is debated still. They have “white raiment” which often signifies salvation and “crowns of gold” where the Greek word for ‘crown’ here is ‘stephanos,’ meaning laurels, the prize won in public games, or a symbol of honour. This is not the same as ‘diadema’ the Greek word for a kingly crown. This word for crown (stephanos) was used in v. 3:11 in relation to the believers enduring the trials and tests of life unto the end whence he/she will receive a crown (a reward) as a winner, but not meaning to win salvation, which can only come through grace.

Categories
Age of the Earth Belief in God Creation/evolution Paleontology Science

Skeptic Shermer resorts to ridicule because the science is weak

Skeptic Michael Shermer
Michael Shermer. Portrait by Byrd Williams, Wikipedia

Michael Shermer, the originator of the Skeptics magazine in the USA, and a Scientific American columnist, is a self-confessed apostate and atheist. So he has a vested interest in supporting his own worldview, i.e. that there is no God and as such mankind can decide what is truth for himself.

I wrote the following in response to a lecture “Why Darwin Matters:  Evolution, Intelligent Design and the Battle for Science and Religion,” which he delivered 20 August 2008 during Science Week, 2008, at the University of Western Australia, where I was working at the time. I asked the Science Faculty community engagement person, in the spirit of open discussion, if I could give a response lecture. That request was rebuffed, but they offered me the opportunity to write 200 word response in their internal online news bulletin “Science Matters.” I opted rather to write a much longer review of his lecture. This article was first published on creation.com on 22 September 2008.

In his lecture, Shermer was very insulting and condescending towards creationists and the ID movement. I felt that his sarcasm and arrogant attitude was not fitting for a scientific discussion. He adopted a ridiculing tone through most of his lecture.

Even in the Q&A time when asked, ‘How did life start?’, he answered by saying there were many theories but never gave any examples of where life had been created in the lab, let alone formed spontaneously, as evolution requires. In a condescending manner, he challenged the questioner to do the experiments and find out for himself. This presupposes that natural processes generated life, which was precisely the question at issue—such question-begging is common among believers in chemical evolution. And he had a blind spot: if scientists did make life, they would use intelligence.1

Categories
astronomy Cosmology Creation/evolution hermeneutics Physics

The lecture: Starlight and time—Is it a brick wall for biblical creation?

The universe is truly vast; tens of billions of light-years in size. If the universe is only about 6000 years old how do we see galaxies at all, which are more than 6000 light-years away? This is the biblical creationist starlight travel time problem. I present 5 categories wherein potential solutions may be found. Besides the big bang also has a light travel time problem—the horizon problem—besides many other various problems.

Lecture was given August 1st 2015. See Age and Reason Seminar Adelaide for details.

See also other lectures given at the same seminar:

Categories
Cosmology Creation/evolution Science

Is there a crisis in cosmology? It would seem so!

Cosmology, or really cosmogony, tries to answer one of the most fundamental questions of all: Where did the Universe come from?  Cosmologists have no idea about the contents of this vast Universe. They speak of many unknowns—dark entities—used to make the standard ΛCDM (Lambda cold dark matter) big bang model fit the observational data. Dark energy and dark matter, which together allegedly make up 95% of the mass/energy content of the Universe, are total unknowns to experimental physics.

But these entities seem more like fudge factors to me than real science. Well, there is good reason for that feeling. They are fudge factors and now it seems like I am not the only one saying it.

In the following I excerpt (indented blue text) from an article titled “Cosmology is in crisis – but not for the reason you may think.” (link for full text) My emphases are in bold text.

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Nothing wrong with naming a nebula after what it looks like though, in this case a horse head. Credit: NASA

We still have no idea what the vast majority of the universe is made of. We struggle to understand how the Big Bang could suddenly arise from nothing or where the energy for “inflation”, a very short period of rapid growth in the early universe, came from. But despite these gaps in knowledge, it is actually human nature – our tendency to interpret data to fit our beliefs – that is the biggest threat to modern cosmology.

Categories
Bible prophecy Biblical doctrines Church History

Revelation 1-3

The following is the first of a series of posts with my notes on the visions/prophecies in the book of the Revelation from Jesus Christ to the Apostle John, given on the isle of Patmos.

Revelation 1

The Revelation, not of John, but of Jesus Christ. It was given to John by an angel speaking on behalf of God. This chapters have Jesus Christ speaking to the Revelation to John (v.11,17,18; 2:18).  Verses 13-15 correspond very well with Daniel 10:5,6.

It is a record of what will shortly come to pass from John’s perspective and  begins at the time of John the Apostle. It is not a futurist prophecy of events all compressed into some far future End-time period long past the centuries that followed the Early Church. The Revelation (and warnings from God) are for events that will occur from the time soon after John received it (v.1,3),  not reserved for some future time. The church endured great tribulation in 70 A.D. and has suffered tribulation ever since (v.9).  John wrote his gospel in 62 A.D. and the Revelation after that time. There is no mention of the 70 A.D. Roman invasion of Jerusalem (and the abomination that makes desolate) in the gospel of John, which supports this. Some date this book to AD 95-96, during the last part Domitian’s reign. “It appears to be the certain result of historical evidence that the Apostle John was banished to the island of Patmos during the reign of Domitian (A. D. 81-96) and in the fourteenth year of that reign, and was recalled from Patmos to Ephesus by the Emperor Nerva in A.D. 96.

Alpha-Omega

Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega (v.8,11), the first and last letter in the Greek alphabet, ‘the beginning and the ending’ representing Christ as Creator of the Universe and Judge of all. He is YHWH, Jehovah, “I AM”, and the Creator of the Universe. He sees the beginning from the end.

Categories
Belief in God Cosmology Creation/evolution Physics

Why is the night sky black?

Why does the night sky appear black? Why isn’t it white-hot? This is an important question.

When we look up on a moonless night, except for the small number of stars we can see with our unaided eyes (about 2500 at any one time), why is it so pitch black?  The answer may not be as obvious as you might think.

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The blackness of space. Beth Scupham/flickr, CC BY-SA

The 19th century astronomer Olbers posed a paradox. If you imagine as you look out in space, even though galaxies and hence stars are great distances from each other, if space extends far enough, eventually every line of sight in every direction should finish on a star. If the Universe was infinite in size and filled with stars this would have to be the case. Thus why isn’t the night sky burning bright? Why isn’t it white-hot like the sun?

Categories
Creation/evolution Israel

Last chance: Biblical creationist tour of Israel

LAST CHANCE to join us! Only 4 months to go! To the start of the first ever biblical creationist archeological tour of Israel, to my knowledge anyway.

I have organised a small group of biblical creationist believers to tour Israel between May 20th and 31st this year (2016). It will be led by Dr D. Russ Humphreys (cosmologist, biblical creationist from the US) and myself. Apart from 12 days being guided by experts, with PhD’s in Israeli archeology, on Israel’s biblically relevant sites,  Dr Humphreys and I will speak to congregations of Messianic believers, and we have been invited to speak at believers youth and student conferences. Dr Humphreys and myself will also speak at a secular university it seems. Sounds like a blast. Much of the creationist teaching ministry will occur in the evenings and the tour of sites during the day.

DSCF1598Why don’t you join us? Tour cost is less than $1600 USD for most everything excluding airfares. If more join the price drops per person. The tour company is owned and operated by a biblical creationist family. Hotel rooms will be on a shared basis, or where you are a couple you have your own. So far we have 12 plus Dr Humphreys and myself, totaling 14 people. Why not join us? Dr John Baumgardner is also considering joining us. Please pray he does.

This offer to join us is open only to biblical creationist Christian believers. If you are interested add a comment below in the comment section with your email address, and I’ll get back to you.

— John Gideon Hartnett

Categories
Age of the Earth astronomy Cosmology Creation/evolution Physics Roman Catholic church Science

The lecture: Development of an “old” universe in science

This lecture deals the historical philosophical development of the notion that the universe is very old. It outlines how worldviews have changed and developed that are intended to replace the biblical worldview with an atheistic humanist worldview. That has meant assuming long ages for the earth and the universe. It is shown how in reality it is a pagan worldview that has grown to dominate ‘so-called science’ today. It is not actually science but scientism. Evidence/observations do not speak for themselves, they must be interpreted and nowadays it is all within the big bang/evolution/”old” universe worldview.

Lecture was given August 1st 2015. See Age and Reason Seminar Adelaide for details.

See also other lectures given at the same seminar:

Categories
Cosmology Creation/evolution Physics

Laughing professor

What’s so funny? Watch this and see!

What do cosmologists really know about the universe? Some say everything but they don’t know what dark energy and dark matter are, yet they are supposed to comprise 96% of the mass/energy content of the universe. Very strange!

This tells me that cosmology has gone astray, and departed from the straight and narrow.

How can cosmology be included in a video about evolution? Easy, … just google the word ‘evolution’ and you’ll discover ‘cosmic evolution,’ ‘stellar evolution’ and ‘planetary evolution’ besides ‘chemical evolution.’ Without a universe with just the right atomic and chemical properties life could not exist. But first you need to explain the existence of the universe, and without a Creator that is just impossible. Biological evolution needs a universe for life to exist, and thus the question is relevant.

This video is taken from the DVD Evolution’s Achilles Heels. For more information get a copy of the DVD, or download from creation.com

Related Reading and Viewing

Categories
astronomy Belief in God Cosmology Creation/evolution God Physics Science

An eternal quantum potential or an eternal Creator God

JGH1As a teenager I co-authored a book comparing the competing cosmologies in 1968. They were the Big Bang Theory (BBT) and the Steady State Theory (SST). Even though the discovery of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation provided a big boost to big bang theories at that time, I preferred the SST because it had no origin in time. You see, I was an atheist then and I reasoned that if the Universe had no beginning then it didn’t need a Creator and thus I had no God that I needed to obey.

The fact that the BBT has an origin in time—a unique past boundary—has been particularly vexing for the atheist believers in that cosmogony. Using various approaches the BB theorists have been trying to eliminate the beginning, by replacing the Creator with an eternal quantum potential, which existed for eternity past, and then 13.8 billion years ago exploded into the big bang universe, … or, so they say. For now though, they are stuck with the universal origin in a singularity, which in itself has led them to worshipping the Universe itself.

The explanation given in the Bible I now find so much more satisfying. Any cosmogony, which attempts to correctly describe real history, must be consistent with and follow not only the biblical time scale but also follow the sequence of events in the Genesis account. I present a very brief summary of a few biblical creationist models. These models acknowledge the eternal Creator God as the source of everything in the Universe.

An illustrated talk presented at the Creation Ministries International 2016 Creation SuperCamp at The Tops Conference Centre, NSW, 9:45 pm Wednesday January 6, 2016.

Video of Powerpoint presentation