Category Archives: science and the Bible

Sunday Devotional: The annihilation of Sodom and Gomorrah

Genesis 18:20-32

In those days, the LORD said:
“The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great,
and their sin so grave,
that I must go down and see whether or not their actions
fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me.
I mean to find out.”

While Abraham’s visitors walked on farther toward Sodom,
the LORD remained standing before Abraham.
Then Abraham drew nearer and said:
“Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty?
Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city;
would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it
for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it?
Far be it from you to do such a thing,
to make the innocent die with the guilty
so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike!
Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?”
The LORD replied,
“If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom,
I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
Abraham spoke up again:
“See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord,
though I am but dust and ashes!
What if there are five less than fifty innocent people?
Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?”
He answered, “I will not destroy it, if I find forty-five there.”
But Abraham persisted, saying “What if only forty are found there?”
He replied, “I will forbear doing it for the sake of the forty.”
Then Abraham said, “Let not my Lord grow impatient if I go on.
What if only thirty are found there?”
He replied, “I will forbear doing it if I can find but thirty there.”
Still Abraham went on,
“Since I have thus dared to speak to my Lord,
what if there are no more than twenty?”
The LORD answered, “I will not destroy it, for the sake of the twenty.”
But he still persisted:
“Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time.
What if there are at least ten there?”
He replied, “For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it.”

But not even ten innocent people could be found in Sodom and Gomorrah.

And so, as recounted in Genesis 19:

17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;

25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

Did you know that in 2011, archeologists had found evidence of the total annihilation of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah by a catastrophic “heat event”(“rained…brimstone and fire”) sometime in the late Bronze Age, ca. 1,600 BC?

That “fiery, civilization-ending cataclysm” covered Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as many satellite towns and villages (“those cities, and all the plain”), in heavy ash and rendered the entire area uninhabitable (“all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground”) for the next 600 years.

See my post of July 29, 2012, “Archeologists find evidence of the obliteration of Sodom-Gomorrah“.

St. Paul counseled us in Philippians 2:13 to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” for, as Proverbs 1:7 and 14:27 instruct and warn us:

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

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

~Eowyn

See these other scientific confirmations of the Bible:

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UK Christian doctor lost his job after refusing to identify a six-foot-tall bearded man as “madam”

The good doctor fired for his religious beliefs

From The Telegraph: A Christian doctor lost his job in a government department after he refused to refer to “a six-foot-tall bearded man” as ‘madam’, a tribunal heard.

Dr. David Mackereth, 56, claims he was sacked as a disability benefits assessor by the Department of Work and Pensions over his religious beliefs.

The father-of-four alleges he was asked in a conversation with a line manager: “If you have a man six foot tall with a beard who says he wants to be addressed as ‘she’ and ‘Mrs.’, would you do that?”

Dr. Mackereth, an evangelist who now works as an emergency doctor in Shropshire, claims his contract was then terminated over his refusal to use transgendered pronouns.

He argues that he was dismissed “not because of any realistic concerns over the rights and sensitivities of transgender individuals, but because of my refusal to make an abstract ideological pledge”.

The doctor is now suing the government at an employment tribunal for discrimination on the grounds of his religious belief.

A hearing in Birmingham was told how Dr. Mackereth believes transgenderism is a “delusional belief” and an ideology “which I disbelieve and detest”.

In a statement admitted into evidence, he told the court: “If you believe in gender fluidity, gender is no more than one’s own fantasy about oneself.”

The trained theologian and “unashamed” Christian, who has 30 years’ medical experience, secured a job as a Health and Disability Assessor at Birmingham’s Fiveways assessment centre in May 2018.

He told the tribunal he was suspended the following month after being “interrogated” by his boss, James Owen, for refusing to “call any six-foot-tall bearded man ‘madam’ on his whim”. The medic claims he was told he was “overwhelmingly likely” to lose his job unless he agreed.

Dr. Mackereth left his role on June 25, 2018, after an email exchange with Mr. Owen in which he was instructed to follow the “process as discussed in your training”.

The email read: “If however you do not want to do this, we will respect your decision and your right to leave your contract.” Dr Mackereth replied: “I am a Christian and in good conscience cannot do what the DWP is requiring of me.”

He insists he did not resign his position and is the victim of direct discrimination and harassment.

Dr. Mackereth told the hearing: “The very fact a doctor can be pulled of the shop floor for an urgent interrogation about his beliefs on gender fluidity is both absurd and very sinister, even more so if it results in a dismissal.

“If something like that happened in a church setting – people being pulled out of a pew, questioned, and then excommunicated – that would be seen as an outrageous example of religious intolerance and bigotry.”

The DWP argues that Dr. Mackereth’s views are in breach of the 2010 Equality Act. APM, the recruitment company who hired the medic, is also being sued for religious discrimination.

The company claims that the doctor’s beliefs “are not compatible with human dignity”.

In a statement put before the court, Dr. Mackereth said: “I appreciate that in the present political climate, some people, including some of those who believe they are transgender, may find my beliefs to be offensive.

“However, in a free society, this is not a good enough reason to censor my beliefs and coerce me to act contrary to my conscience. Moreover, as a doctor, my responsibility is always to act in good conscience in the best interest of the patients – not to adopt various fancies, prejudices, or delusions, to avoid offence at all cost.”

Dr. Mackereth added that his inherent belief is that transgenderism is a “rebellion against God, which is both pointless and sinful”.

He said: “I am, of course, aware that there are men or women who believe they have been trapped in a wrong body, and I do not question the sincerity of their convictions. “A small number of such people have always existed. Up until recently, such a belief was considered by medics to be delusional and a symptom of a medical disorder.

“It is only recently that transgenderism has been recognised as normal and such delusional beliefs accepted at face value. What is responsible for that change is political pressure, not scientific evidence.

The legal case, which is listed until next week, is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.
Chief executive Andrea Williams described Dr. Mackereth as “a Christian hero who chose to sacrifice his distinguished professional career rather than compromise on the Bible and his conscience”.

The hearing continues.

h/t Moonbattery

DCG

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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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3D image of Shroud of Turin man: This is what Jesus looks like!

In 2015, the scientific unit of the police force in Rome, Italy, used reverse aging software to generate the face of what the man in the Shroud of Turin would look like as a 12-year-old boy. (See “The angelic face of Jesus as a 12-year-old boy”)

He is breathtakingly beautiful.


Now, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurements at the University of Padua, Dr. Giulio Fanti, has created a 3D carbon copy of Jesus from meticulous measurements of the Shroud image.

It is of an “extraordinarily beautiful” man, muscular, with “regal” “majestic” features, and nearly 6 feet tall — 7 inches taller than the average man in the Mediterranean region at the time.

Maria Teresa Martinengo reports for La Stampa (Google Translate), March 20, 2018 that Giulio Fanti leads a team of scientists who have studied the Shroud of Turin for years with the most sophisticated technologies available to science.
Based on the scientists’ measurements of the image on the Shroud, the master sculptor Sergio Rodella created a statue in plaster.

Professor Fanti explains:

“Christian tradition believes that the image that is seen on the Shroud is that of the crucified Jesus. And now science is of this opinion too. For years, using the most sophisticated 3D technologies, we have studied  the image left by the body on the sheet. And the statue is the final result.

This statue is a life-size, three-dimensional representation of the Man of the Shroud, based on the millimetric measurements obtained from the shroud in which the body of Christ was wrapped after the crucifixion.

On the Shroud I counted 370 scourge wounds, without taking into consideration the lateral ones, which are not imprinted into the Shroud because it enveloped only the front and back of the body. We can therefore hypothesize Jesus suffered a total of at least 600 scourges. Moreover, the three-dimensional reconstruction has allowed us to reconstruct that at the time of death, the man of the Shroud has slumped to the right because His right shoulder was dislocated in such a severe way as to damage the nerves.

According to our studies, Jesus was a man of extraordinary beauty (“bellezza straordinaria”). Long-limbed, but very robust; almost six feet tall, while the average height of the time was around 5′ 5″; with a regal and majestic expression.

We therefore believe that we finally have an accurate picture of what Jesus was like on this earth. From now on, it will no longer be possible to portray His image without taking this work into account .”  

H/t Daily Caller and FOTM‘s MCA

See also:

~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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