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Time to think

Maybe young-earth creationists should sometimes just ‘shut up’? …

by

Wikipedia.org

The thinker

The Thinker

Published: 7 June 2012 (GMT+10)

Shortly after taking my assigned seat for a three-hour flight, I was surprised when the gentleman sitting next to me suddenly asked, “Why are you reading that?”

He was referring to a page of Hebrew print which I’d brought with me. I explained to him that I had hopes of catching up on my homework for an introductory course in Hebrew language that I was doing at the time.

“May I see it?” he asked, and, taking the page of Hebrew script from me, began reading it aloud. It was Genesis chapter 1, and he read it fluently, without any hesitation, just like my Hebrew language teacher. I was astonished.

“You know Hebrew!” I said, impressed.

“Oh yes,” he replied, “but tell me, why are you interested in learning Hebrew?”

If you saw a blind man heading for a pit, would you not shout a warning?

Wondering if this might be a ministering opportunity, I said:

“I’m a Christian, and much of the Bible was originally written in Hebrew, hence my interest.”

“My brother in Christ!” beamed my travelling companion, “Oh how wonderful it is—the Lord has brought us together for this flight—what a wonderful time of fellowship we’ll have!” His joy was genuine, and as the conversation unfolded, Edwin1 explained how his love for the Lord had resulted in him enrolling at Bible College (which is where he had learnt Hebrew), going on to become a Lecturer in New Testament Studies at a mainstream theological seminary.

FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Stuart Miles

Commercial jet

Knowing of the widespread antipathy towards a straightforward reading of Genesis in many theological seminaries,2 and its often-tragic consequences,3 I couldn’t resist asking certain questions to ascertain Edwin’s view of Genesis. [See: ‘Are you a biblical creationist?’—Nine questions to ascertain whether your future pastor, youth group leader or Bible College Principal takes a straightforward view of Genesis]

It didn’t take long to discover that, despite his evident love for the Lord Jesus Christ, Edwin was as ‘soft’ on Genesis as any other non-young-earth-creationist-Christian I’d ever met.

Now, painful experience had taught me that Christians with long-age or theistic evolutionary views do not like to be ‘bailed up’ [their term] by zealous young-earth creationists.

And I could see there was a definite risk of that happening here, for Edwin had the window seat, and I was next to him—he couldn’t ‘escape’ anywhere! So I resolved to be mindful to be as gentle as possible, i.e. to converse with Edwin such that he wanted to discuss Genesis with me. (And thus I might help him see that the Bible can be trusted re origins.) Our ‘time of fellowship’ together on this flight had started heartwarmingly amicably—I wanted to keep it that way.

So, seeing Edwin’s obvious passion for Christ, I asked him what sort of objections he encounters when proclaiming the Gospel. (Many evangelical Christians get very excited (and rightly so) when they see that the ‘objections’ to Genesis are easily demolished, and that the issue of origins is a powerful tool for reaching out to those who are perishing in today’s world. I had expected Edwin to say that it’s the creation/evolution issue that non-Christians use to fob off his evangelistic efforts.)

“Objections?” replied Edwin, looking puzzled.

I soon realized that Edwin’s love for the Lord hadn’t yet translated into an outreach-oriented love for the lost—he’d apparently had no experience at all of telling unbelievers about salvation through Jesus Christ. Hence he’d never heard their objections.

But there was something else at issue here, which did not become apparent to me until we’d conversed further.

I was very surprised to hear Edwin say that in his city, he didn’t know any atheists at all—pretty much everyone believed in God.

I said, “What about other religions? I don’t mean other denominations; I mean other religions, like Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam. Don’t you have any Buddhists, etc., in your city?”

“Oh, yes” replied Edwin.

“Well?” I said, “aren’t you trying to win them for the Lord?”

Edwin looked incredulous.

“No need,” he said, “They’ve already got their own religion.”

I was amazed. I’d heard of some certain leaders of ‘mainstream’ denominations espousing such views before, but this was the first time I’d ever encountered it in person.

“Tell me,” I said, “Did Jesus say that there are many paths to God or that He alone is THE Way—that no-one comes to the Father except through Him?”

After a few seconds silence, Edwin, looking very shocked, acknowledged what the Scriptures say on that point.

‘Actually,’ said the Bible College lecturer, ‘I’ve often wondered about Cain’s wife myself.’

“So,” I said, “doesn’t that mean that Buddhists, Hindus, etc., are not currently on the narrow road that leads to life but are on a wide road leading to Hell? If you saw a blind man heading for a pit, wouldn’t the most loving thing you could do be to shout a warning?”

Edwin did not refute what I’d just said, but he seemed reluctant to accept it. Then he said, “But you can’t just go up to someone you don’t know and talk to them about Jesus! And how do you tell whether they already believe in Jesus or not?”

I pointed out that the Apostle Paul wrote that we are to be alert for opportunities and make the most of them when they arise (Colossians 4:5–6). I said, “I have a friend in Sydney who is very good at that. For example, he was sitting at a dining table in a restaurant, and his friends were slow in deciding what to order. So he took the opportunity to turn to the waitress and asked her directly, ‘Are you a Christian?’”

Edwin looked aghast, and his mouth dropped open, but no sound came out. I asked him, “Do you know what the waitress said?” I paused. “She said, ‘No!’ The waitress said ‘No!’ What would you have said then, Edwin, if you’d been in my friend’s shoes?”

Edwin still looked aghast, his mouth remained open, but still no sound came out. So I said, “Well, I’ll tell you what my friend said. Just two words: ‘Why not?’ Isn’t that brilliant!? With just two questions my friend can identify that someone is not a Christian and elicit the reason(s) why.4 And do you know what the waitress said? She said straight away, ‘Where did Cain get his wife?’ How would you have answered that, Edwin?”

“Actually,” said Edwin, “I’ve often wondered about that myself.”

“I’m sure you already know the answer,” I replied, “but maybe just don’t realize it yet. Let me help you. Tell me, why did Adam name his wife Eve?”

stock.xchng

interior

Edwin didn’t know. I was a little taken aback that a lecturer at a Bible College couldn’t answer that question (especially one who could read Genesis 1 aloud in Hebrew!), but I nevertheless gently pointed out that the Bible says that Adam named his wife ‘Eve’ because she would become the mother of all the living.5 So Cain, the first son of Adam and Eve, must have married another of Adam and Eve’s children.6

Edwin blurted out, “But that would mean he married his sister! That’s outrageous.”

I asked him why that would be a problem. Edwin said, “Because it’s against God’s commandments. And the children would be retarded.”

Gently, I said, “Certainly in the Bible, God is on record as saying that ‘Cursed is the man’ who marries his sister, or even his half-sister.7 But here’s a question: Abraham’s wife Sarah—was she related to Abraham in some way?”

A look of pained anxiety crossed Edwin’s face. So I continued, “Sarah was Abraham’s half-sister, as Abraham said, ‘the daughter of my father though not of my mother’.8 But tell me, does the Bible say that Abraham was cursed, or blessed?”

“Abraham was blessed, of course,” said Edwin. “So, there’s a contradiction.”

“No,” I replied, “there’s no contradiction at all. To whom was God speaking when He said, “Cursed is the man … ?”

Edwin hesitated to answer, so I filled in with, “To Moses, of course. It’s in Deuteronomy. So the question now is, who came first: Moses, or Abraham?”

At this point, I must say that what happened next was a huge surprise to me. I did not anticipate this at all.

Edwin began shifting uncomfortably in his seat, even undoing and redoing his seat belt, then saying in a louder voice, and in a tone of extreme annoyance, “I am getting sick and tired of you asking me these questions about CHILDREN’S STORIES.”

Well, I confess somewhat shamefacedly that this jibe about the Book of Moses, about God’s Word, coming as it did from a Bible College lecturer, was too much for my patience.

family reunion

Children’s stories?!!!” I responded crossly, “God’s Word is NOT a ‘children’s story’. It is an actual account of history, and when understood as such, it makes sense of who we are, why we’re here, and this world where we live. Abraham and Sarah came before Moses, and Cain and his sister before that, so there was no problem in God’s sight for them to marry—no moral commandment was broken. And biologically, there was no problem either. The Bible says that everything was originally created ‘very good’9 —it was only after the Fall that things started going downhill, right in line with what the Apostle Paul says in Romans 8:19-22, that the whole creation since the Fall has been in ‘bondage to decay’. So instead of the situation we have today, where the accumulated genetic mutations are such that we have to marry a distant relative (for those of us who marry indeed marry a relative), it was no problem pre-Moses to marry a close relative, even a sibling.10 Surely, Edwin, you would not say that the Jewish people, the descendants of Abraham and Sarah, are ‘retarded’? Proportionally, they’ve been awarded more Nobel prizes for scientific achievement than any other ‘race’!”11

Edwin latched onto the word ‘race’. “Actually,” he said, “what about all the races? What about all the skin colours?”

As Edwin himself had very dark skin (he said that he had some Papuan heritage), it was a great opportunity to explain that there’s only one skin pigment to speak of, melanin, and the variation in the amount of melanin between individuals and between people groups fits with the biblical account of history. I explained that Adam and Eve would have likely been medium-brown, and that the dispersal from Babel occurred in family groups, with the difficulty of language barriers separating the groups referred to colloquially today as ‘races’.

Edwin suddenly put his hand up like a traffic policeman, saying sternly, ‘Stop. Stop. That’s enough! I’ve had enough. I don’t want to hear any more. Don’t say any more. Please be quiet.’

We covered many topics in our conversation, as Edwin had in mind many issues and raised, one after the other, ‘objections’ to taking the Bible as straightforward history. And so I endeavoured to answer him on each of his questions (all of which are answered multiple times on this website—so anybody who has familiarized themselves with this material could just as easily have answered him also). Questions such as dinosaurs and other fossils, what about ‘ape-men’, whether the Ark could have been real, and what about carnivores pre-Fall.

We were making, in my view, great progress—I was excited to see (it seemed to me) that Edwin was being won over on all of these key points. But perhaps my eagerness was such that I was impervious to signs that maybe Edwin was not travelling so well in our traversing of these issues. Because, after two hours of unbroken lively conversation, Edwin suddenly put his hand up like a traffic policeman, saying sternly, “Stop. Stop. That’s enough. I’ve had enough. I don’t want to hear any more. Don’t say any more. Please be quiet.”

‘I see it now, all our sickness and death, a world in ‘bondage to decay’—yes, it is as you say. Jesus is the answer that everybody needs.’

I was mortified. In my eagerness to help him see that the Bible can be trusted, I’d instead pushed him too far, and so killed the conversation. I’d been over-zealous, and ruined our time of fellowship. Had I perhaps even turned a Christian friend into an enemy? I’d done the dreaded ‘bailing-up-in-a-corner’ so despised of passionate biblical creationists. I sat there morbidly for the remaining hour of the journey, wallowing in remorse, replaying endlessly in my head our conversation, wondering where I’d gone wrong, ruing the ‘opportunity lost’. Woe is me.

The plane touched down on the runway at our destination airport, and taxied to a halt on the tarmac. This airport had no ‘aerobridge’ facilities, hence passengers would be alighting down stairs to the tarmac.

Passengers began impatiently to crowd the aisles, gathering their bags from the overhead lockers. To my surprise, Edwin spoke up. “You know, brother,” he said, “I’ve been thinking. Everything you’ve been telling me is right. There really was an Adam and Eve, and a Garden, in a ‘very good’ world, and it all came undone because of Adam disobeying God. The fossils can’t be before that moment, because there was no death before then—the animals were all vegetarian. The fossils date from Noah’s Flood. The dinosaur fossils, too. But after the Flood as people spread out over the earth, they saw the offspring of the Ark dinosaurs, hence Chinese dragons and the like. Even in my own country, people remember stories of fierce creatures menacing people near the lakes and swamps—I can see now those creatures might have been dinosaurs, not yet extinct. The tower of Babel, and all that, I see it now, all our sickness and death, a world in ‘bondage to decay’—yes, it is as you say. Jesus is the answer that everybody needs.”

MorgueFile.com, FlyingPete

Landed

WOW! So it seems that Edwin had simply needed me to ‘shut up’ for a while, that he might have some time to think. Actually, Edwin’s example is something we’ve noticed many times over, i.e. that people need some time to mentally ‘process’ what biblical creationists have presented to them. In many cases it’s a ‘bombshell’ for them—the idea that the Bible can be trusted as straightforward history is a concept that they’ve never previously encountered, and can take some time to absorb. Having been exposed to thousands of hours of evolutionary storytelling in secular education, and the ‘fog’ that passes as scholarship in many theological institutions, it would indeed be remarkable if de-programming of all that indoctrination was instantaneous. The fact that Edwin was apparently able to quietly assess a new worldview in just an hour of silent reflection on his part, correctly, was actually quite commendable, indeed remarkable.

By now the plane’s engines had been completely turned off, but all passengers remained on board, most crowding the aisle holding their bags, as there was some delay/problem with the mobile stairs and so the plane’s doors remained closed. Despite the crowd of people on board, having now to wait until the doors could be opened, the cabin was eerily silent, except for just one person speaking: Edwin, to me. “You know, brother, you and I being together on this flight was no accident. The Lord is good. I needed to hear what you have now said to me. The Lord arranged for it to happen. It was the Lord who arranged for us to be seated together on this plane. It was the Lord who gave us the opportunity to have this conversation. Praise the Lord!”

Edwin said this as he took my hand, shaking it warmly. I was ecstatic. What a moment to savour! But then a lady, standing in the aisle about four seat rows to the front of us, spoke up loudly. “And the Lord gave THAT man,” she said for all to hear, pointing straight at me with her outstretched arm and index finger, “a VERY PENETRATING VOICE!”

I wanted to crawl under the seat with embarrassment. It seems my words had carried somewhat further than I’d intended …

Related Articles

Further Reading

References

  1. Not his real name. Return to text.
  2. For example, Australian correspondent Anil G. wrote to us on 6 April 2012 of his own experience: “I started a degree at Tabor College around 2001. I was so surprised when I read in a book recommended for study for one of their courses that ‘Jesus may have sent out the 60 because he was aware his own ministry may have failed’.” [Published comment at Catchpoole, D. and Wieland, C., Tabor’s choice, 29 March 2012.] Return to text.
  3. “I lost my faith at Bible College” is, sadly, an increasingly common refrain. Wieland, C., Crisis in the colleges, 23 November 2004. Return to text.
  4. See also Kong, Y.-P., Why not? And why?—the power of asking the right questions, 5 April 2011. Return to text.
  5. Genesis 3:20 Return to text.
  6. Only three of Adam and Eve’s children are mentioned by name—Cain, Abel and Seth—though they had “other sons and daughters” (Genesis 5:4). Return to text.
  7. Deuteronomy 27:22 Return to text.
  8. Genesis 20:12. Return to text.
  9. Genesis 1:31. Return to text.
  10. The children of a genetically perfect Adam and Eve could have married one another without any potential to produce deformed offspring. Biologically today, however, the accumulation of genetic mistakes is such that brothers and sisters are likely to carry the same mutations, i.e. mistakes in the same genes since they have the same parents. (We all have two sets of genes—we inherit one gene of each pair from each parent.) Thus the offspring of brother-sister intermarriage could today inherit the same mutated gene from both parents—tragically resulting in defects. In contrast, when two people who are not closely related marry one another, if their offspring inherit a mutated gene from one parent it is not a calamity, because a good copy of the gene from the other parent is there as a back-up. Return to text.
  11. E.g., according to an article in The New York Times, “Jews are a famously accomplished group. They make up 0.2 percent of the world population, but 54 percent of the world chess champions, 27 percent of the Nobel physics laureates and 31 percent of the medicine laureates.” Brooks, D., The Tel Aviv cluster, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/opinion/12brooks.html, 11 January 2010. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments
Don N., Australia, 7 June 2012

Good on you David. All biblical Christians can empathise with every aspect of your conversation. Maybe you should have kept your voice down a bit but only God knows what multiplication will occur as a result your faithfulness.

Martyn M., Australia, 7 June 2012

What a fantastic story David, perhaps even the woman who responded harshly about your voice and others within earshot may reflect like Edwin.

Nigel K., United Kingdom, 7 June 2012

Yes, great story - but maybe a quieter tone next time, which seems implicit in 2 Tim 2:24b-25a? Remember what was said of the servant of the LORD: "He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street" Is 42:2

Joni R., Finland, 7 June 2012

Amazing David! May God bless you for you courage to speak and for your passion for the Lord!

I could especially relate to your inner thoughs of remorse of being over-zealous! This reminds me of Peter being so sure of his steadfastness before he saw how he could not survive in his own strength (or knowledge). But like with Peter, this story ended with God doing His work with us and others!

I pray that all Bible believing Christians should learn to seize the moment and ask questions. I believe the opportunities abound, it is only our lack of perception that stands in the way. But understanding that the whole Bible IS TRUSTWORTHY (as it is God's Word) gives us a greater ability to see the situations where we can stick out with God's saving message of Christ, whether it be through the first or the last pages of the Bible.

I pray that we would all have this kind of situations where we can see people come to a mature understanding of God's Word, that He is THE way, THE life and THE truth, amen!

Diane W., United Kingdom, 7 June 2012

I have to say I agree with Martyn M. David - it seems like you were heard by more people than you realised (who, incidentally, didn't complain but did listen/hear) and the seeds are now sown .. who knows now how many the Lord will save after hearing you witness. Edwin was right about the Lord engineering the meeting but he may have engineered it for a wider audience than just him (others on the plane and his students back at the Bible college too). What exciting times we are living in as the message continues to spread and to hit home! Keep up the good work guys!

Gregory Y., Australia, 7 June 2012

Here's hoping that what you said also penetrated her heart!

Deb B., New Zealand, 7 June 2012

I don't know whether to laugh or cry after reading "Time to think"! I'm so glad at the outcome for this gentleman! When I'm 'evangelising' I try to be very aware of the whole person I'm reaching to, and my surroundings, but also don't get it right all the time! It's awesome to have the facts, and the love is just as crucial... God bless you David!

Melkisedik H., Indonesia, 7 June 2012

Interesting article, God Bless you. :)

Melkisedik H., Indonesia, 7 June 2012

Interesting article!

Your articles and this site have helped me to get away from the fog of evolution. Thank you for your valuable work, and I have found that this website has much information that evolutionists haven't taken into account yet. You need to keep on spreading the message. God Bless you. :)

Melki

Chandrasekaran M., Australia, 7 June 2012

The Lord gave that woman the pointing finger too!

There must have been other souls who heard the penetrating voice too!

You have sowed the seed and the Lord gives the increase in His time.

Denise T., United States, 7 June 2012

This was a great article! I have these conversations with others all the time. Praise God for your [and other creation ministries'] materials, they have equipped me to always be ready!

Dan M., United States, 7 June 2012

David, what a wonderful testimony. It was indeed God's providential arrangement for the two of you to sit together. That third hour was all the Holy Spirit's time. No more human conduit needed! And I'm sure he was working in the hearts of everyone else around you who heard your conversation. Praise God!

Dan M., United States, 7 June 2012

David, what a wonderful testimony. It was indeed God's providential arrangement for the two of you to sit together. That third hour was all the Holy Spirit's time. No more human conduit needed! And I'm sure he was working in the hearts of everyone else around you who heard your conversation. Praise God!

Jeffrey C., United States, 7 June 2012

David, I found your sharing of your experience and observations in this instance quite edifying, thanks.

Paul N., United States, 7 June 2012

The Lord gave you a penetrating voice AND a penetrating MESSAGE. I would not be ashamed of either!

Susan Y., United States, 7 June 2012

Thank God for that very penetrating voice.

Toby S., United States, 7 June 2012

Since discovering the CMI website, I too, like Edwin, have begun a journey out of the confusion of compromise. Thank you, David Catchpoole and associates for your inoculating work at CMI.

Bill B., United States, 7 June 2012

Completely AWESOME story! A life changed! Praise God indeed. :)))

Thank you for sharing this!

- Bill

David L., Australia, 7 June 2012

A very encouraging article with a hilariously unpredictable ending! :D

Preston G., United States, 7 June 2012

What an encouraging event! Thank you for your faithfulness and for sharing what happened.

E. K., Canada, 8 June 2012

Good! Everybody needs to hear about Jesus, and Genesis points directly to him. The more people heard this penetrating voice, the better!

Admittedly, I have mixed thoughts about those who needed a nap during that flight and who already trusted Genesis.

Patrick D., Canada, 8 June 2012

“And the Lord gave THAT man a VERY PENETRATING VOICE!”

That is simply awesome. God didn't only want Edwin to hear what you had to say. He used you to touch Edwin and he used Edwin to make you talk and touch probably many people around you without you even noticing it.

God is so good at being good that he always has a secret plan and a double agenda ;)

daniel S., Netherlands, 8 June 2012

Amazing story indeed! God is involved, souls are saved/redirected, and humor must be a character-trait of God Himself :)

Chris W., United States, 8 June 2012

What an amazing story! It is true that if we will stay anchored to the truth of God's Word, people see the stability and strength of our position and are drawn to that. Keep up the good work!

John C., United States, 8 June 2012

Dear David,

God bless you! A wonderful story of the way God will use us if we are available. And what is there not to be loud about? We don't have to be obnoxious, having the truth in our favor, but we don't have any more reason to be quiet than a noisy atheist or evolutionist!

I am grateful for the penetrating value of the Word of God, at whatever volume it is proclaimed! Thank you for your testimony.

In Christ,

John

David B., Canada, 14 June 2012

What a wonderful story! Yes, you were conversing with Edwin but little did you know, you two were also working together to plant seeds. As for your penetrating voice:

John 2:17b --- Zeal for your house will consume me.

The Spirit does that sometimes. I pray He gives you even more boldness next time.

Way to go brother! :)

Teddy M., New Zealand, 14 June 2012

Dr. Catchpoole's article provides a great example of our need to wait on the call of the Judge before we testify as witnesses. We can remember that we are not doing the convincing (bringing about conviction), that is the work of the Prosecutor (the Holy Spirit) to render a guilty verdict for those on trial. The message is not on trial, the person is. We should just be faithful witnesses as Christ commands. The delightful ending to Dr. Catchpoole's story is that when it was time to leave the witness stand, he did. And allowed the Judge and Prosecutor to do their work. Which they did and would have with no obligation to share the results with the witness. I'm guessing the lady with the pointing finger found herself on trial soon thereafter. The Judge will find a suitable witness for that trial as well!

Roger T., Australia, 14 June 2012

Oh that more Christians would seize the opportunities that God presents to speak the truth.

Sadly, Christianity has apostasised the Bible truths and compromised in so many areas that often it is a "Christian" who needs to hear the truth.

You don't need a PhD, just faith that God will give you the words to speak in season.

These encounters are not an ACCIDENT. They are God-ordained according to His will and desire to save.

Blessings,

Roger.

Randal P., United States, 14 June 2012

Fantastic! Reminds me of a trip I made one night by bus in NE Brazil, as a missionary to give creation talks to a youth retreat. On a bus with many empty seats God put me next to a young Jewish man named Uri who was travelling around Brazil after finishing his mandatory time in the Israel military. When he asked of my reason for travelling, I also had 3 hours of talking with him about a literal belief in the creation account in Genesis and a literal belief in the patriarchs. He was stunned to think that I believed that God still has a purpose for His chosen people. Inspite of being somewhat orthodox in his beliefs, he felt that being "chosen" had become more of a curse than a blessing since so many bad things have happened to the Jewish people (he cited the explosion of the U.S. space shuttle at the time since it carried the very first Jewish astronaut!). When I asked him if he was really qualified to sit in judgement over God he was horrified at the thought. I certainly didn't enjoy the same conclusion that Dr. Catchpoole did, but I've often wondered at where Uri ended up and how God would use that similar divine appointment! Thanks for sharing your experience! May God use us to be ready always to give an answer...

Jeremy P., Australia, 15 June 2012

Thanks for the story David, and Teddy for your great comment. We often consider apologetics and standing for Truth in our message, but your comment that "The message is not on trial, the person is" is very helpful in keeping our focus. Thanks.

Peter H., Australia, 15 June 2012

Absolutely brilliant. Thanks for writing the article. Many lessons for us to learn from it.

Phil H., Thailand, 15 June 2012

Well done David. Another creationist- evangelist won for truth's sake. Why Bible Colleges don't all have one specialist creationist on staff, at least, is a mystery. Without us proselytising/evangelising our fuller revelation of the Word, mainstream Christians are evangelisng, if at all, under equipped. And the worldly are complacent in their brain-washed faith in oblivion, by the Dawkins/Hitchens fratertnity. Great work.

Jason V., South Africa, 15 June 2012

Miraculous conviction and quiet working of the Holy Spirit in a persons heart! The word of God is light unto the world, sometimes we shine that light (Truth) directly into a "sleeping" persons eyes which can be irritating and annoying until we are accustomed to it and fully "awake." Its light that wakens us into a state of consciousness into which we can see, understand and interact with the world around us. Likewise spiritually, its the Light (Word) of God that "wakens" us, and enables us to see (understand) our origins, our environment,our situation, our future, sin, death, life, and also the urgency to "awaken" others by proclaiming the gospel and teaching all of God's Word (Light).

Praise be to God, may we reach as many as we can, and may our Lord Jesus come soon!

Barbara H., United Kingdom, 15 June 2012

How wonderful and how encouraging to faith. God give us more faith and more opportunities.

Granville C., United Kingdom, 15 June 2012

Praise the Lord - His promise is that his word will

not return void - ever - keep at it.

Granville C., United Kingdom, 15 June 2012

Praise the Lord - His promise is that his word will

not return void - ever - keep at it.

busisiwe Z., South Africa, 15 June 2012

Thank you Dr Catchpoole for empowering the rest of us as well. This conversation answered a few questions I didn't have answers for e.g. Cain's wife, etc. You are such a powerful tool in God's hands, God bless you!

Kathy N., South Africa, 15 June 2012

Thanks for the article, thanks too for speaking to our students at the Bible Institute in Cape Town last month. Keep up the great work, and don't ever shut-up.

A. V., France, 15 June 2012

How wonderful - like a reverse version of Philip & the Ethiopian. Interesting that Philip's approach also involved asking thoughtful questions - and you were even caught up in the air ;-)

Jennifer H., United States, 16 June 2012

Halleluiah! perhaps it was the truth that was penetrating!

Halleluiah and AMEN! :D

wow - am I exhorted and pumped every time I read CMI's site!! - especially at times like this which provides me READY answers, Biblically based, to use in conversations ! Oh thank you Lord God!! thank you CMI :)

Timothy L., Australia, 16 June 2012

Great account David! I love it. Accounts like these are very helpful - especially with the detail. What a surprise ending - especially for a Bible college lecturer. Wow! Lord - bless that man to grow in power to be a witness.

Nothing better than meeting bold Christianity - it's contagious.

Melvin R., United States, 16 June 2012

I'm condensing this. Concerning Adam and Eve's children marrying. If you consider the passage of time,Cain was a fugitive and vagabond "and it shall come to pass". Meaning time did elaspe in between. And "lest any finding him should kill him". Who is the "any"? I believe families were already established and bloodlines were varying degrees. It couldn't have been his sister(s)lest their names would be mentioned. I don't know if record keeping was a factor at the time except verbal until later written down. And Cain knew his wife in the land of Nod. Perhaps Adam and Eve conceived many children including Seth that departed (for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother) considering they lived well over 800 years old. Enoch builded a city which I'm sure caused multiplicity exponentualy when he begat at least four sons. I believe the passage of time and long life propbably distanced families over centuries just like today. In small rural cities there are certainly cousins marrying cousins as to almost common. Usually it is dismissed ever so casual except in direct incest cases. The closer the blood the more severe. If I read this right Gen.5:7 Seth, Enos, Cainan lived over 800 years old and begat sons and daughters.

David Catchpoole responds

Melvin, re Cain's wife, you muse that "It couldn't have been his sister(s)...". Not so. As Edwin in the above article came to acknowledge, Eve being the "mother of all" means that Cain and his siblings can only have married the descendants of his father and mother. For more on this please see:

Who was Cain's wife?

Church shock: Can you marry your relative?

'You shouldn't marry your cousin!'

Regards,

David

M. M., United States, 16 June 2012

Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing this.

Joy G., Australia, 17 June 2012

Love it, love it, love it! What a Divine appointment with a plane load of people.

Don G., United States, 19 June 2012

Thank you so much! I'm passionate too when I get to talking about the subject, and I need the reminder to shut up, listen, and not try to win them over in one conversation! I need patience to let the Holy Spirit do His work in their heart. What a blessing to have actually won someone in one conversation, though!

Joanne R., Australia, 20 June 2012

Wonderful article, with a laugh-out-loud moment at the end!

Daniel B., United States, 30 June 2012

Thank you David. You and the rest of the CMI team continue to bless and empower me to share and defend. I myself am a young brother (25 years of age, but only 2 years converted) and have needed a lot of mental-rewiring. The wealth of knowledge that has been provided here is breath-taking. Every time I'm confronted with a question or an anti-biblical counter argument, CMI is way ahead of me. I have grown so much in the past couple years and am thankful that I stumbled upon CMI early on. God is using you without a doubt and by His grace continues to use those who partake in your labors.

Even in increasingly dark times, its exciting to be a Christian with all these resources. I just finished a highly evolutionary biology course in college and was able to fight until the end. I must have read, referred to, and distributed over 40 articles during the course to some fellow students and a few to both professors. It was a lot of extra work and reading with very little fruit seen, but I am confident that God will use those interactions for His own glory. I also learned a lot about grace and gentleness in the process as well.

The evidence alone will never be enough for the unbelieving, we will always want one more piece of it to be the judge of without fully comprehending that it sits in judgment of us. What Christ did in my heart was truly a work of Him alone. But even though that is true, my faith would be blind apart from the evidence. Because evidence is all around us being understood through what has been made and in His word. So, where there is truth evidence will definitely not be void. I have become more and more confident in my walk with the Lord, the more I understand and learn. By God's providence, all of you at CMI have played a huge role in that. I look forward to my relationship with the ministry for years to come. Thank you again. May the Lord continue to use you.

Terence B., Australia, 1 July 2012

It's amazing how much of an understanding of scripture is distorted by importing evolutionary thinking. I have a friend who did a four-year bible college course in Melbourne, but it seemed to do more harm than good. Unlike Edwin, this person refuses to listen with open ears.

The more and more we discuss biblical issues, the more and more I realise how much really is reliant upon a literal interpretation of genesis, even extending to the roles of a husband and wife (Ephesians 5), and in the church (1 Timothy 2), and marriage itself (Matthew 19, Hebrews 13) as well as the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15). These are on top of the issues I have already seen mentioned on this site.

What was most frustrating, and revealing, was that the conversation almost always turned to Genesis for support. In the person's mind, only the four gospels are infallible (I think?) which means emotional pleas was the only argument to fall back on.

It saddens me. I know that believing in evolution doesn't automatically lock people out of heaven's gates, but I wish people would stop and realise the logical consequences of doing so - God's Word is one whole package, and to believe one part as fantasy is like believing in a car but refusing to believe in tyres. All it is is a firing range for logical ridicule. If, in a worldly sense, we believe in an omnipotent God, surely it makes sense to believe what He says, too?

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