Posts tagged “Creation

Ash Wednesday 2018

Posted on February 14th, 2018

Memory is critical to survival. Remembering where you’ve been, how to navigate, which things are dangerous to eat – memory is very important. Other memories are painful. Abuse, rejection, sins – the memories haunt us, and we want to suppress them or forget them. But the memory of human origins is both the most painful and the most important memory to keep alive. It’s no surprise that creation and the nature of man are the most contentious issues of our day. If God made us, then there is a rule and purpose to our life that stands outside of us. If God made us, then He defines what is male and female, what is marriage, what is sin, what is life and death. That’s…

Life Sunday Sermon 2018: The Glory of God Is a Living Man

Posted on January 26th, 2018

I was honored to preach for the LCMS Southern Illinois District’s service for Life Sunday, held on January 21 at Good Shepherd, Collinsville, IL. Thanks to Rev. Scott Adle and his charming family for hosting me, and Rev. Mark Surburg, District Life Coordinator, for inviting me. The audio of the sermon can be found here. Text: St. John 7:37-39 “God makes, man is made.” This statement seems so basic as to be absurd. “God makes, man is made.” Yet this statement overthrows all our pride, all our desires for authority and dominance.   Confess it: you want others to obey you. You want others to submit. You should be the star, you should be praised, you should control your own destiny.   But God…

Sermo Dei: The Marriage of Jonathan Scheck and Cari Geyer

Posted on October 24th, 2016

October 21, 2016 Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Apostles, Melrose Park, IL Dear Saints loved by God, bride of the mystical bridegroom, our Lord JESUS Christ, It was not good for Jonathan to be alone. So the Lord prepared for Jonathan a helper suitable for him. To you, Jonathan, God gives Cari as bone of your bones and flesh of your flesh. Many gifts we receive and enjoy for ourselves. But in the gift of marriage comes the call to donate yourself, open up to and sacrifice yourself for the needs of your nearest neighbor. We heard how Adam’s side was opened up, in a sleep like unto death. His rib became the constitutive element of the woman, signifying that the husband guards and…

It seems almost a miracle

Posted on May 14th, 2014

The rise of complex life forms in our universe cannot be explained by Darwinism. Thomas Nagel summarizes this problem in his book Mind and Cosmos: No viable account, even a purely speculative one, seems to be available of how a system as staggeringly functionally complex and information-rich as a self-reproducing cell, controlled by DNA, RNA, or some predecessor, could have arisen by chemical evolution alone from a dead environment. Recognition of the problem is not limited to the defenders of intelligent design. (p123) Inability to seriously consider theism leads some scientists to suggest incredible theories like “directed panspermia”: Although scientists continue to seek a purely chemical explanation of the origin of life, there are also card-carrying scientific naturalists like Francis Crick who say that it seems…

When Do the Creation Days Happen?

Posted on August 21st, 2013

Dipping back into John Lennox’s Seven Days that Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science, Lennox notes that the verb “create” occurs in the perfect tense in Genesis 1:1, and that this ordinarily is used at the beginning of a pericope to denote an event that took place before the story line gets underway. In other words (according to this reading), creation already occurred before the seven days of Genesis 1:2ff. Lennox explains: This implies that “the beginning” of Genesis 1: 1 did not necessarily take place on day 1 as is frequently assumed. The initial creation took place before day 1, but Genesis does not tell us how long before. This means that the question of the age of the earth…

How long is a day?

Posted on August 19th, 2013

The Venerable Bede (c.672 – 735) in his commentary on Genesis sees a “day” in the creation account as being an unspecified period of time. Neither was heaven created in any six-day period and the stars illuminated and the dry land separated from the water and the trees and vegetation planted. Rather, Scripture customarily uses “day” to denote an unspecified period of time, as the apostle did when he said, “Behold, this is the day of salvation.” He was not referring to a particular day but to the entirety of the time of the present life in which we labor for eternal salvation. The prophet also spoke not of one specific day but of numerous moments of divine grace, saying, “In that day, the…

Sermo Dei: Immanuel Lutheran School Baccalaureate Vespers [Psalm 8]

Posted on June 6th, 2013

What is man? That’s the question the psalmist asks tonight. That’s one of the questions a classical education should teach you to ask. The broader culture, in an astonishing fraud that is neither scientific or logical, would have you believe that man is, that you are the product of a random mutation. That the incredible design of the world and the cosmos, the complex digital code embedded in your DNA, is all an accident. Without design. Without plan. And thus you are without purpose. Without hope. What is man? What masquerades as science says that man is soulless, your thoughts and emotions pure chemical reactions. And what is your life? Meaningless. The weak we kill, and the dead return to nothing. The end. Well…

That fool Copernicus

Posted on June 6th, 2013

John Lennox, writing on the revolution of Copernican astronomy and how it necessitated new examination of Biblical texts, observed that Luther allegedly called Copernicus a “fool” for wanting to turn astronomy upside down, since Scripture clearly tells us that the sun moves, not the earth. Of course, the “new” interpretation eventually won the day. Why do Christians accept this “new” interpretation [that the earth orbits the sun], and not still insist on a “literal” understanding of the “pillars of the earth”? Why are we not still split up into fixed-earthers and moving-earthers? Is it really because we have all compromised, and made Scripture subservient to science? Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (p. 19) I haven’t read…

Thanksgiving Divine Service sermon

Posted on November 23rd, 2011

I broke the line. I am disconnected from the earth. My mother’s side of the family are Minnesota farmers, and though my mother moved to Minneapolis while still a teenager, she still is rooted in the earth, working her garden, growing food and flowers. In my memories, my grandparents’ farm is a place of wonder, so very different from my own childhood home, just sixty miles away. There on the farm were cows and chickens, corn and peas. Sometimes my grandpa would have me take a little pail and dig for worms, collecting them until we had enough for fishing. My father, like his father before him, is an arborist, which is a fancy way of saying he deals with trees for a living.…

The probability of a random origin of life is negligible, says Oxford mathematician

Posted on June 5th, 2011

John Lennox, a mathematician at Oxford, says a “super intellect” having designed the world is the best inference from the data. “He points out that the probability of a purely random origin for any sequence of even the most basic biological significance is ‘so small as to be negligible.’” From an article by William West assessing Lennox’s work: So, what if you take all of the probabilities unearthed by science together? What are the chances of life developing without a super-mind to guide it? The answer, clearly, is as close to zero as anyone could imagine. In fact, the figures involved are so profound, so enormous, that no human mind could possibly imagine them in any real sense. You can find the summary and…