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Contemporary Issues

Commentary on recent archaeological discoveries, current issues bearing on the historical reliability of Scripture and other relevant news concerning the Bible.

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What exactly is 'illegal immigration'? At its simplest, it is the movement of people from one area into another, such that this movement violates laws and regulations in place at any given time at the destination...

For years I told students in the geography classes I used to teach about a true event that illustrated the thesis of this article: i.e., most people are not interested in geography...

November. The weather has begun to change, the air is cooler, and the whole world seems to let out a sigh of relief as the end of the year approaches and the beginning of the holiday season is upon us. It is the month marked by gratitude, when believers and non-believers alike reach deep into their hearts, and decorate their Facebook pages with a daily 'thankful' post as they reflect upon the year.

The past several days have seen a renewed flurry of interest in Noah's Ark. It began during the week leading up to the National Conference on Christian Apologetics, held from October 16-17 at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Traditional liberal scholarship claims that the book of Genesis is a jumble of conflicting, contradictory sources. Genesis 1, they say, was written during the exile in Babylon by priests (ca. 586 BC). Genesis 2 was written sometime around the period of Solomon (ca. 950 BC). Genesis 1 was part of the 'P Document' (Priesty Code) that runs through the whole book in various places. Genesis 2 belongs to the 'J Document,' which also goes through Genesis. It is called J because it prefers the divine name Jahweh (pronounced Yahweh)

'I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me.
If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.'
-- John 5:43 ESV

I recently wrote an article for our friends at Answers in Genesis about archaeology and the Conquest. One of the subjects I discussed in my article, of course, was the issue of Jericho and Kathleen Kenyon's conclusions that seemed to undermine the account in Joshua 6. Following the publication of that article, I participated in an online chat to talk about the article and other archaeology matters. One of the participants accurately noted that the reaction by OT scholarship and the archaeological community to Kenyon's claims was eerily similar to the reaction people had to unbiblical theories such as Darwinism, the Documentary Hypothesis, and so on. When the scholar comes along, in his own name, peddling an idea that is at odds with Scripture, most people are inclined to jump on the bandwagon, lickety-split. Human history is littered with the ghastly consequences of these terrible ideas.

Unfortunately, the Church is not immune from this tendency. Professing believers who are not well-grounded in Scripture are easily susceptible to claims that are not biblical. Or, even worse, they set out to manipulate the text of Scripture to accommodate the vacuous novelty of the day. There is no more egregious example of this than recent attempts by professing believers to actively distort what Scripture clearly teaches about homosexual behavior and the institution of marriage. In a desperate attempt to capitulate to the spirit of this age, Scripture is twisted and undermined at every turn in order to legitimize activity that God clearly condemns as an abomination.1 The real tragedy is that the person who engages in such activity is led to believe that God endorses it. Instead of being freed by the power of Christ, the person remains a slave to their sin. And others who might otherwise have turned away from such unnatural behavior are now encouraged to pursue it. It is profoundly tragic.

Of course, ABR does not specialize in dealing with cultural and moral issues of the day, but we are acutely aware of them and are impacted by them. And these issues do strike at the heart of what ABR is about: the authority of the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The wickedness of the present age extends into every corner of our existence. Naturally, this also includes the world of archeological scholarship, where every attempt is made to undermine, distort, diminish and twist the Bible. ABR continues to labor to answer these distortions, and provides research and articles to equip you to faithfully defend the Christian faith. We need your prayers and support so we remain faithful to Scripture and our Lord.

My friends, we must remain vigilant. Do not receive what the scholars, cultural messengers and skeptics say without first seriously and prayerfully scrutinizing their claims in light of the Word of God (I Thes. 5:21). In addition, their ideas must also be weighed against alternative interpretations of the archaeological evidence. Archaeology is often an inexact science and does not rise to the level of God's Word in terms of its authority or clarity. Do not accept their authoritative claims on the surface. Their arguments will most often be found wanting.

Instead, receive the Word of the One who was sent from the Father.

To Yahweh be the glory, forever and ever!

 

This article was first published in the Summer 2014 issue of Bible and Spade.

[1] One of the most hideous examples of this distortion is God and the Gay Christian, by Matthew Vines. For a response, see God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines, edited by R. Albert Mohler Jr. (off-site link).

A strong temptation for Christians with advanced training in the sciences is to compromise on the plain sense of the biblical text when faced with apparent conflicts between it and popular scientific views. Some such views are clearly contrary to Scripture, such as Darwin's theory of evolution, and are promptly rejected by those who value the Bible as God's revelation. Other views, however, are more subtle in the way they conflict with the Bible, causing some to wonder, 'Maybe the

Archaeological sites are in danger around the Ancient Near East. While there are antiquities laws in place throughout the region, they rarely suffice to deter the destruction. Once the crime is committed, the data is irretrievably lost, or at best, it is devalued. The plot of Clive Cussler's best-selling novel, Crescent Dawn, portrays the conflict between those who want to preserve antiquities and those who want to plunder or destroy them. Sadly, this goes far beyond fictional depictions. There are four main causes of the destruction of antiquities...

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ABRT 28 | 8/1/2019