Category Archives: science and the Bible

Christian seminary president doesn’t believe in Resurrection, Virgin Birth, Heaven or miracles

Revelation 1:17-18

“I am the first and the last, the one who lives.
Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever.”

Union Theological Seminary (UTS) in New York City is the oldest independent seminary “in the Christian tradition”. Founded in 1836 by members of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A, the non-denominational UTS has an endowment of $108 million and is a bastion of “progressive Christianity” and the birthplace of Black theology, womanist theology, and other theological movements. (Wikipedia)

Although UTS’s founding constitution stated the seminary’s goal was to “promote” the “Kingdom of Christ”, and professors were required to affirm they believed “the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the word of God” and the “only infallible rule of faith and practice,” today’s UTS is more about “progressive” ideology than religion, which is made clear in its “About” page:

Today, the Seminary lives out this formative call to service by training people of all faiths and none who are called to the work of social justice in the world. With roots that are firmly planted in the Protestant tradition, Union actively reforms itself in response to the changing needs of the world and an evolving understanding of what it means to be faithful.

Even worse, the president of Theological Seminary (and its Johnston Family Professor for Religion and Democracy), Serene Jones, 59, formerly the Titus Street Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and chair of Gender, Woman, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University, doesn’t even believe in the fundamental tenets of Christianity.

Michael Foust reports for Christian Headlines, April 25, 2019, that in an interview with Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times for an article published Easter weekend, Serene Jones rejects these fundamental beliefs of Christianity:

(1) The Resurrection

Jones, the president of a Christian seminary, does not believe in the literal bodily resurrection of Christ. She said: “When you look in the Gospels, the stories are all over the place. There’s no resurrection story in Mark, just an empty tomb. Those who claim to know whether or not it happened are kidding themselves…. Crucifixion is not something that God is orchestrating from upstairs. The pervasive idea of an abusive God-father who sends his own kid to the cross so God could forgive people is nuts. For me, the cross is an enactment of our human hatred. But what happens on Easter is the triumph of love in the midst of suffering. Isn’t that reason for hope?”

(2) Miracles

Jones rejects the idea that God miraculously heals through prayer: “I don’t believe in a God who, because of prayer, would decide to cure your mother’s cancer but not cure the mother of your nonpraying neighbor. We can’t manipulate God like that.”

(3) Virgin Birth

Jones said: “I find the virgin birth a bizarre claim. It has nothing to do with Jesus’ message. The virgin birth only becomes important if you have a theology in which sexuality is considered sinful. It also promotes this notion that the pure, untouched female body is the best body, and that idea has led to centuries of oppressing women.”

(4) Heaven

Nor does Jones believe in Heaven, Hell or an afterlife, all of which implies she does not believe that humans have immoral souls. Asked what happens when people die, Jones responded, “I don’t know! There may be something, there may be nothing. My faith is not tied to some divine promise about the afterlife.”

(5) God

For that matter, it is doubtful whether Serene Jones even believes in the Christian understanding of God.

Asked how we can reconcile an “omnipotent, omniscient God” with evil and suffering, Jones responded: “At the heart of faith is mystery. God is beyond our knowing, not a being or an essence or an object. But I don’t worship an all-powerful, all-controlling omnipotent, omniscient being. That is a fabrication of Roman juridical theory and Greek mythology.”

Despite not believing in the fundamental tenets that make Christianity, Jones nevertheless calls herself Christian. When Kristof asked her if he can be considered a Christian though not believing in a virgin birth or resurrection, Jones answered, “Well, you sound an awful lot like me, and I’m a Christian minister.”

R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., said Jones rejects the “entire edifice of orthodox, biblical Christianity.” Mohler wrote:

“This is not Christianity. This is a new religion, a new god, formed in an image intended not to offend modern secular sensibilities. She has constructed a god from post-modern theology that in no way resembles the God of the Bible – the one true God…. [Jones denies] the reality of the resurrection, the necessity of the virgin birth, the attributes of God, the power of prayer, and the existence of heaven and hell. According to Jones, there is no cross on which Jesus died for sin, there is no Father who sent the Son to pay our ransom, there is no bodily resurrection of Christ from the dead as a sign and seal of God’s promises – indeed, she has denied everything that makes the gospel good news. She even denies that God is a ‘being’…. Why would anyone identify as a Christian minister and then deny the entire superstructure of Christian theology? What we see here is a hope to replace biblical Christianity with a new religion without anyone noticing.”

Below is my rebuttal to Serene Jones’ apostasy:

  1. On the Resurrection, see:
    1. Easter Sunday: The science of the miracle of the Resurrection
    2. Tomb of Christ in Church of Holy Sepulchre surrounded by electromagnetic field
    3. New evidence dates Shroud of Turin to time of Christ
    4. Yet more evidence dating Shroud of Turin to time of Christ 
  2. On Virgin Birth, see:
    1. Sunday Devotional: The child to be born will be the Son of God,” on DNA evidence of Virgin Birth.
  3. On miracles (defined as phenomena that are not explicable by natural or scientific laws), see:
    1. The Smell of Rain
    2. Drowning men saved by a force
    3. The Miracle of the Sinking SUV
    4. The mysterious voice calling for help
    5. We have no nurse named Benjamin
    6. 10-year-old boy sees Jesus figure in hospital; begins recovery
    7. The Stranger in the Snow
    8. Miracle of the Hotwater Bottle
    9. Painting of Archangel Michael weeps
    10. The Bat Cave Miracle
    11. Fallen into the hollow of a tree, 9 y.o. girl met Jesus and unborn sister
    12. Invoking the name of Jesus Christ repels demons/alien abduction
  4. On Heaven, Hell, the soul, and afterlife, see:
    1. The Physics of Heaven
    2. Marine’s near-death experience of Hell
    3. Physicists discover humans have souls
    4. Study by 32 scientists shows there’s consciousness after death
    5. Near death experiences prove we have a soul
    6. Proof of Soul’s Existence?
    7. Nurses who saw supernatural phenomena around dying patients

See also these confluences of science and the Bible:

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Speech discloses the bent of a person’s heart

Luke 6:39, 43-45

Jesus told his disciples…
“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit,
nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.
For every tree is known by its own fruit.
For people do not pick figs from thornbushes,
nor do they gather grapes from brambles.
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good,
but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil;
for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.”

Sirach 27:4-6, 11-12, 22-24

When a sieve is shaken, the husks appear;
so do people’s faults when they speak.
The furnace tests the potter’s vessels;
the test of a person is in conversation.
The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had;
so speech discloses the bent of a person’s heart….
The conversation of the godly is always wisdom,
but the fool changes like the moon.
Limit the time you spend among the stupid,
but frequent the company of the thoughtful….
Whoever has shifty eyes plots mischief
and those who know him will keep their distance;
In your presence he uses honeyed talk,
and admires your words,
But later he changes his tone
and twists the words to your ruin.
I have hated many things but not as much as him,
and the Lord hates him as well.

In our corrupt culture, Christianity is portrayed as a pernicious and malevolent religion bent on blocking us from the pursuit of pleasure and being who we “really” are — the satanists’ credo of “Do as thou wilt”.

What they won’t tell you is that Christianity contains much wisdom and serves as a guide to life, as exemplified in the above passages from Luke 6 and Sirach 27, instructing us to listen carefully to and heed what a person says because “speech discloses the bent of a person’s heart”.

In fact, study after study testifies to the beneficent effects of being a true and faithful follower of Christ. See:

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters,
be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord,
knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Geologists’ discovery of fault line supports Mount of Olives as site of Second Coming

Zechariah 14 is the 14th and the last chapter of the Book of Zechariah in the Old Testament. This book contains the prophecies spoken by the prophet Zechariah, whose prophecies began in the second year of Darius, king of Persia (520 BC).

Coincidentally, his feast day is today, February 8, in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar.

Aerial view of Mount of Olives, Jerusalem. (Photo by Andrew Shiva)

This is the apocalyptic prophecy in Zechariah 14:1-9:

A day of the Lord is coming…. 

Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south…. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. 

On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. It will be a unique day—a day known only to the Lord—with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light….  

The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.

What the prophet Zechariah described is the end of all things, when our Lord will come for a second and last time.

On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west

So it’s most fascinating that geologists have discovered an earthquake fault line running east to west right through the Mount of Olives in the heart of Jerusalem.

From “The Geography of the Mount of Olives” by Sefi Ben Yosef:

The Mount of Olives is a long and narrow mountain that stretches along the eastern edge of Jerusalem in a general north-south direction. Its summit lies in the center of the village of Abu Tor, at an altitude of about 820 meters above sea level, and approximately 100 meters above the Old City of Jerusalem….

The fault line from west to east, in the southern portion of the Mount of Olives, has elevated the mountain northward and exposed layers of limestone and dolomite from the Cenomanian-Turanian Period in the western section of the mountain, the same section that faces the Judean anticline.

Now, how could Zechariah, in 520 BC, know that an earthquake fault line runs east to west under the Mount of Olives?

According to Grace thru faith and several other websites, in 1964, when King Hussein of Jordan had the Intercontinental Hotel built on top of the Mount of Olives, engineers discovered the fault line running through the original construction site, which was directly East of the Temple Mount. They relocated the site to the south, desecrating hundreds of Jewish graves in the process, and built the hotel there. Today it’s called the Seven Arches Hotel.

The discovery of the earthquake fault line under the Mount of Olives leads Callum Hoare to write in the UK Express, Feb 7, 2019:

A Biblical prophecy could be fulfilled after geologists discovered a sign along a famous mountain range described in the Bible as being integral to the story of Jesus Christ’s second coming.

~Eowyn

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Tomb of Christ in Church of Holy Sepulchre surrounded by electromagnetic field

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a church, built in the 4th century, in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. According to traditions, the church occupies two of the holiest sites of Christianity:

  1. Where Jesus was crucified (“Calvary” or “Golgotha”).
  2. Jesus’s empty tomb, where His Body was placed and resurrected. The tomb is enclosed by an 18th-century shrine called the Edicule.

Within the church proper are the last four (or, by some definitions, five) Stations of the Via Dolorosa, representing the final episodes of Jesus’ Passion. The church has been a major Christian pilgrimage destination since its creation in the fourth century, as the traditional site of the Resurrection of Christ, thus its original Greek name, Church of the Anastasis or Resurrection.

In 2016, restoration works were performed in the Edicule, the shrine that encloses Jesus’ tomb.

For the first time since at least 1555, marble cladding which protected the estimated burial bed of Jesus from vandalism and souvenir takers was removed. On the night of October 28, 2016, the original limestone burial bed was revealed intact. The tomb was resealed shortly thereafter.

What that’s received very little publicity are two discoveries of the scientists who undertook the restoration work on the Edicule.

As recounted by Sylvain Dorient for Aleteia, Nov. 15, 2016:

On October 26, 27 and 28, 2016, the marble slab that covers the tomb of Christ was removed. As the group of scientists and religious authorities had access to the place, rumors immediately began to run around. Some rumors claimed it was possible to perceive a “sweet aroma” emanating from the tomb, reminiscent of the olfactory manifestations commonly associated with both Marian and saintly apparitions. Secondly, it was alleged that some of the measuring instruments used by scientists were altered by electromagnetic disturbances. As soon as they were placed vertically on the stone in which Christ’s body rested, the devices either malfunctioned or ceased to work at all. […]

The [electromagnetic] phenomenon was confirmed by one of the scientists authorized to access the tomb. Later, one of the heads of the building and construction team, Antonia Moropoulou, indicated that it is really hard to imagine that someone would be willing to put in danger his or her reputation just because of a “publicity stunt.”

Antonia Moropoulou is the Vice Rector of Academic Affairs of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), and a Chemical Engineer, Dr., and Professor at NTUA’s School of Chemical Engineering.

Dorient noted that during the last partial opening of the Edicule made by the architect Nikolaos Komnenos in 1809, the chronicler also made mention of a “sweet aroma” — the “scent of sanctity” that often accompanies Marian apparitions and the tombs of some saints.

On the electromagnetic disturbance experienced by the scientists, uCatholic writes:

The observation of these unusual electromagnetic anomalies at the tomb of Jesus may lend credence to a scientific hypothesis on the creation of the ghostly image on the Shroud of Turin. Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development [ENEA] concluded during a five-year-long study that the Shroud of Turin could not be a ‘medieval fake’. The findings of ENEA study hypothesized that the image may have been created by an intense source of light, stronger than could be created by any technology currently available to man. The results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”. . . . But “the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come to several billion watts )”.

“An intense source of light, stronger than could be created by any technology currently available to man” . . . “a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation” . . . .

VUV is vacuum ultra-violet, a type of electromagnetic radiation.

Imagine how powerful the radiation burst of the Resurrection must have been to leave electromagnetic traces after more than 2,000 years — traces that were detected by those scientists restoring the Edicule in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Year of Our Lord 2016.

~Eowyn

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