The Pastor’s Corner is written by the pastor of Coronado Bible Church.

Psalms from Facebook

God’s Word commands Christians to … Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  According to Ephesians 5:19 these conversations are to be the overflow of a thankful hearts filled with songs to the Lord. Our inner dialog is so filled with love, gratitude and awe for God that it naturally colors all our speech. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

I think we face two challenges: 1) we are as a society schooled and encouraged in the art of grumbling. We need to discipline our inner dialog to line up with God’s expectation and not the world’s. Our public interactions will never be characterized by praise and gratitude until our hearts are filled with those qualities. 2) If we don’t understand the call we’re not apt to answer it. Until I dug into this passage it sounded so unnatural that I wasn’t sure how to make it part of my life. Forsooth, how doth I speaketh to thee in a Psalm? It’s simpler than it sounds … and we’re probably already doing it. A psalm is simply, “A story of God’s deliverance or a commemoration of His mercies received.” Here’s a great example from a friend of mine whose been battling cancer. Enjoy this story from Kim and the application.  

” This is the phone that a Kindergarten teacher, that I have the pleasure to work with, brought in several days ago. It’s a tattle phone. The kids take their misunderstandings, infractions, and worries and pick up the phone to supposedly record a message for the teacher to listen to later. Of course by the time the “later” has arrived the problem has ceased to be a problem and often they have moved on to play with new friends or even the one they had the original problem with. Oh to be 5 again! 😊 ”

As I have been muddling over this the last few days I’m thankful that as a believer we have a ready set of ears to listen to our tattles, our struggles, and anything else that comes our way throughout our days. We don’t need to run to the counter to pick up a fake phone. We have a very real God listening, watching, and walking with us all the time. It seems like I always have a continuous and ongoing conversation running through my head with him all the time. Never alone!❤️
 
 


Deafening Pride

On my way through Las Bougainvilleas neighborhood in Coronado, I noticed Calle De Lesseps. I don’t know if it was meant to be a joke, but the road is a very short cul-de-sac. It accesses all of three homes.

If you’re not familiar with Canal history, Ferdinand de Lesseps was the French diplomat and developer who began … but could not finish the Panama Canal. He dug a very short cul-de-sac of a ditch that destroyed fortunes and buried 20,000 Frenchmen.

This astonishing failure of such a national hero shocked all of France, especially de Lesseps himself. He was a giant to the public and considered himself an unstoppable force.

He had already done what the world said could not be done by constructing the Suez Canal. The much shorter trade route between Europe and East Asia opened in 1869, ahead of schedule and below budget. But the very success that drove de Lesseps towards greater things was also his undoing.

David McCullough in, The Path Between the Seas, paints a picture of Ferdinand as a man deafened by pride. He consulted the world’s best engineers (Eiffel for one) and then discarded their advice to use a system of locks. De Lesseps mantra became, “A sea level canal or no canal at all.” It turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. For Ferdinand there would be no canal, only failure and infamy.

King Rehoboam, faltered at the beginning of his reign, but found success when he followed the Lord. But that success went to his head. 2 Chronicles 12:1 records, “After Rehoboam’s position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israel with him abandoned the law of the LORD.”

King Hezekiah, one of Judah’s best rulers, also succumbed to pride. “In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.” 2 Chronicles 32:24-26

Unfortunately, there are many ancient and contemporary examples of men and women destroyed by pride in the second half of their life. If you want to finish well, remain humble before God and cultivate a heart that praises Him for all success and blessing.
 
The Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). (2 Ch 12:1). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
 
 


A Priori

Current genetic research traces all men and women currently living on the planet back to one male and one female ancestor. And yet … many scientists scoff at the Biblical narrative concerning God’s creation of Adam and Eve. I ended last week by asking, “Do scientists who reject the Biblical narrative do so based solely on “evidence” or is there an a priori reason.”

If you’re not familiar with the term “a priori” it’s Latin and literally means, “from what comes before.” It is knowledge or belief that comes apart from experience or tangible evidence. It is derived solely through deduction, rather than experience or hard data. Here’s how a priori reasoning might predispose a person to embrace atheistic or evolutionary dogma.

  • If there is a creator (God) there might be an objective standard of truth.
  • If there is an objective standard of truth my actions may be judged according to that standard.
  • That possibility is too morally confining or too frightening … therefore,
  • There is no creator (God).

Once this line of reasoning is present in a person’s thinking (even subconsciously), it makes it nearly impossible to see evidence of design or purpose as evidence for God. In fact, design and purpose are technically impossible in the atheistic evolutionary worldview. Evolutionists proclaim the case is closed on the Creator. But for many, the case was decided outside of the laboratory or the fossil bed … it was decided in their heart. Some are honest enough to out their own deductive bias. In one article clearly antagonistic to Christianity, the author exposed one of his a prior reasons for being an evolutionist, “I, for one, refuse to believe that I am just a primate born inherently sinful.” The problem he refuses to see is the problem that blinds him to truth.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8
 
 
 


Scientific or Genetic Adam

“In human genetics, the Y-chromosomal most recent common ancestor (Y-MRCA, informally known as Y-chromosomal Adam) is the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) from whom all currently living men are descended patrilineally. The term Y-MRCA reflects the fact that the Y chromosomes of all currently living males are directly derived from the Y chromosome of this remote ancestor.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-chromosomal_Adam)

Okay … that was a mouthful, but did you catch the gist? Modern genetics accepts that “all currently living males” are descended from one common male progenitor. A plethora of articles refer to him as Scientific Adam or Genetic Adam. Similar articles discuss Mitochondrial Eve. Though it’s much harder to track genetic succession through the mother’s mitochondria, many scientists are convinced they have traced all living women back to one ancestor. Of course, most geneticists are only tracing these lines back to the “emergence of anatomically modern humans.” They believe that our common ancestors arose from humanoids of inferior evolutionary development. This belief is necessitated in their materialistic, closed-universe worldview.

As I’ve read through articles about our genetic parents, every article goes to great pains to state upfront that this cannot be evidence in support of the Biblical Adam and Eve. So every living man and woman on the planet can be scientifically traced to two progenitors, but the Genesis account must be a “myth.” Romans 1:18–20 comes forcefully to mind,

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Do scientists who reject the Biblical narrative do so based solely on “evidence” or is there an a priori reason. Tune in next week. 
 
 


Study Finds …

“Creationists and conspiracy theorist share the same cognitive error.” As a person of faith, headlines like that grab my attention. I’m not a conspiracist … but I am a creationist. I see evidence everywhere that a masterful, all-powerful designer engineered and created this amazing cosmos we live in. I wondered what my “cognitive error” might be. A recent study by the University of Fribourg has kindly identified my mental deficiency as “teleological thinking.” And the authors of the study do believe it is a cognitive deficiency. Here are a few quotes …
  • “This kind of thinking leaves people prone to some grossly erroneous beliefs”
  • “Such thinkers are often ill-equipped to comprehend basic scientific facts.”
  • “This type of thinking is anathema to scientific reasoning and especially evolutionary theory

So what is this awful aberration known as teleological thinking? According to the Fribourg study, “a powerful cognitive bias which entails the perception of final causes and overriding purpose in naturally occurring events and entities.” In other words, if you believe that there is a creator, purpose or goal to our universe, you are guilty of erroneous thinking.

It’s interesting that the researchers identify this as “a powerful cognitive bias.” In fact, at one point they accuse creationist of “confirmation bias” … the tendency to interpret new evidence as validation of one’s existing beliefs or theories.”

So, a group of people who have decided that a Creator cannot possibly exist and that there is no ultimate purpose to the universe … do a study “revealing” that everyone who interprets the evidence differently is guilty of fallacious thinking? Evolutionary theorists have closed the door on any meaningful debate and labeled all dissenters as mentally deficient … or willfully blind. Their stance is indeed a powerful cognitive bias, one that is anathema to scientific reasoning. Read carefully, think deeply, respectfully challenge unconfessed bias and non sequitur reasoning. Don’t be bullied into silence … or out of your faith.

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:3,6