"...but try the spirits whether they are of God..." (1 Jno. 4:1)

McDonald's Second Defense

Mr. Hadley and respected readers:

   I appreciate Mr. Hadley's timely response to my first defense and the manner in which he conducted himself. I pray that I will be as much of a gentleman has Tedd has been. Tedd says that he has no problems with the proposition, definitions or affirmations, so with that being said we can go on to further matters.

   He asked the following questions: {1} Are there "any forces that exist that are 'not' part of the creative power of God?" My response is : "No. All forces that exist, exist through and by the creative power of God (. {2} "Are natural forces (i.e. those forces that are derived in some fashion from the laws of physics) an alternative to the creative power of God?" My response is: "The question is basically the same as the first. My response would be the same as above. All forces, natural or otherwise, exist and are upheld by God's creative power. God is the one who initially set into place the laws of physics, and it is his power that continues to uphold those laws of physics.

   Concerning his questions, Mr. Hadley states: "It should be noted that it is not a disproof of God to appeal to natural forces, but it does make his active presence unnecessary and that is what I hope to show." Why would appealing to natural forces not be a disproof of God but then it would make Godís active presence unnecessary? I have a feeling that Tedd is going to appeal to Stephen Hawkingís book A Brief History of Time, or at least appeal to the principles that Hawking used. So we will just wait and see what Tedd brings up and then we will respond when he does.

   Tedd wants to know what the definitions of the characteristics are that separate humans from non humans. Here he follows Till and Tyler in their refusal to answer the argument set forth until specific definitions had been given. My question is, what difference does it make what characteristics that we are talking about? Whatever the characteristic is that separates the human from the non human is irrelevant. The point is "how did non humans give rise to humans?" How did a creature that had no human characteristic give rise to one that did have at least a partial characteristic. If I give a characteristic that separates all humans from non humans will that make a difference? I donít know, but so that we can hasten the debate on Iíll give one characteristic. The human has a conscience. This is not something that can be seen, touched, smelled, heard (audibly) or tasted. In other words, it is not something that is tangible, but it does exist. The conscience tells one that he has done wrong when he has indeed done wrong. The conscience tells a person that a thing is wrong so that he wonít do it. Animals donít have this characteristic, but humans do. How did a non-human thing that had no conscience give rise to a human that did have this characteristic?

   He speaks of the Homo Sapiens and Homo Erectus and Homo Habilis and wants to know if I consider all three human. He tells us (speaking of Erectus and Habilis) that "(b)oth of these species are also recognized as ancestral to modern man...". If what we call Homo Erectus and Homo Habilis were the forerunners of man, then they were human and not part human and part non human. Who recognizes them as the forerunners of man? He is bordering on the idea that if one does not recognize erectus and habilis as forerunners of man, then that person is not a rational person, or a reliable source to be quoted.

   In dealing with my two alternatives (either born of or transformed from) he uses the analogy of the color bar and shows that there are different colors and how at some point along the spectrum you see definite differences in colors while at others you donít see these definite differences. The point he is attempting to make is that if you can see this in regards to the color bar you ought to be able to see this in regards to evolution and thus to show that my question cannot be precisely answered. He says: "Trying to identify where in a lineage the first Homo Sapiens evolved is like trying to figure out where on the spectrum yellow becomes green." This is a smoke-screen that atheists always bring up when presented with the argument I have presented Mr. Hadley with. Where have I asked him to identify, on the evolutionary scale, the exact point where the Homo Sapiens evolved? My concern is not at what point, but rather is it possible! I am not asking him to show the point in time when the Sapiens evolved from its ancestors. I am asking him to show that such is possible. When yellow light ceases to be yellow, it is no longer yellow and it becomes some other color, but it is not yellow. Now we can see how yellow light can become green, you mix yellow and blue and you will get green. However, you donít have the same situation with living organisms. In order to get a creature that had partial human characteristics, then one of the parents had to have this characteristic or it had to mutate (birth or transformation). In your color bar example you can take two colors which have nothing to do with each other and mix them together and make a different color, but it doesnít work that way in living organisms.

   For example my dad had Scotch blood in him. Now if my mother had no scotch blood in her (or anyone else in her family had it) then I would have to get it from my dad wouldnít I. I couldnít get it from mom if she didnít have (nor anyone in her family had) it. I had to get it from someone and since, in the scenario, my dad was the only one who had it, I got it from him. When my parents came together and I was conceived I would get what my parents gave me. I would get some from dad and some from mom. However, I wouldnít have had Scotch blood in me if neither of my parents (nor anyone in either of their families) had it. This is what you are trying to say happened, however, in evolution. You are trying to say that two non-human creatures (and I donít care at what point it happened) came together and produced something that was at least partially human. How could that happen when the offspring would have at least no more than what the parents gave it. The only other way is through mutation and we will discuss that later if you rely on it. However, my alternatives "A or B" are correct.

   Tedd gives what he thinks is a third alternative: "[C] a species weíve decided to call Ďnon-humaní evolved in may tiny steps over time into a species we now call Ďhumaní". But how did this "non-human" evolve? There are only two ways; either by birth or transformation (mutation). So you havenít come up with a third alternative after all.

   Tedd says that he doesnít see a specific conclusion with respect to the premise in my description of the respiratory system. O...I didnít have one in mind Tedd, I just threw it out there because I didnít have anything better to do. :) My reason for putting that description in there is to show that such an intricate work could not have just happened by chance. There had to be a designer who designed that wonder, and there had to be a purpose for the design (it had to be that way for the human body to survive).

   He wants to know if there is any way that the respiratory system could evolve in a stepwise fashion? Answer "No!"

   He tells us that we have good deal of evidence that favors what he calls "the natural mechanism for the origin of air-breathing structures" and goes into a long exposition of the earliest lung and how the creature could survive and eventually tries to show that lung could have come into existence in a stepwise fashion. (1) Where, pray tell me, did the first lung (this bladder like structure) come from? (2) Are you saying that the respiratory system, that we have today, came from this bladder like structure on this fish? (3) If not, then where did our respiratory system come from?

   Next he makes an attempt to respond to my second argument "The Bible Is Of Divine Origin." First he grants that the Bible was not written by Satan, so there should be no more discussion on that point. The only reason I brought it up in the first place is because the first time I used this argument was in my written debate with Farrell Till and he spent a large amount of space speculating about how it was possible that Satan was the author of the Bible. He did this so he could escape having to respond to the argument I did make. Since Tedd doesnít believe that Satan wrote the Bible there should be no more discussion on the point.

   He says that the men who were involved in writing the Bible were good men, but they were deluded as though these men were not sure of whether or not they wrote it by inspiration. The implication is that they believed that they wrote it, but since there is a difference (in the atheistic mind) between belief and knowledge they really couldnít be sure.

   My usage of Gal. 1:11,12 shows plainly that there was no doubt in Paulís mind that he was writing by inspiration. It wasnít that he just believed that he was, but he knew that he was. He says "I certify you." The word "certify" comes from the word "gnoridzo" and means "to make known, reveal, declare" (The Analytical Greek Lexicon Revised, p.80). The significance here is he was declaring this to be the truth, he was revealing that what he preached came from revelation of Jesus Christ and he was making this known. This was more than "I think, or I believe." This was "I know...". The word gnoridzo is derived from the word "ginosko" which means "To know" (The Analytical Greek Lexicon Revised, p.80). So this wasnít some subjective belief that Paul had, it was knowledge. He said that he knew this to be fact. His making such a bold statement would surely rule out any room for mere thought. When someone says that they know something then they are not merely expressing some subjective belief. They are expressing what they know to be fact.

   Isnít it possible, that the writers believed a lie that they didnít know was a lie? This does happen, however, Paul knew (ginosko) that he was being guided by inspiration. Thus either he was lying (purposely) or he was telling the truth. The law of excluded middle will not allow for any other interpretation on Paulís statement.

   I believe that this answers my opponentís article point by point. If there is anything I have overlooked he can tell me about it in his next. Now I want to make some further affirmative arguments.


Element Number Three: The Bible Is Authoritative.

Argument for the authority of the Bible

Major Premise: If the Bible shows man how to live, and if it is to be manís judge, and if it may not be added to or subtracted from, then it is authoritative.

Minor Premise: The Bible does show man how to live, and it is to be manís judge, and it may not be added to or subtracted from.

Conclusion: Therefore the Bible is authoritative. Proof for the Argument

   (1) The Bible does show man how live. 2 Tim. 3:16,17 says "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

A. When one studies the Bible he finds out what teaching (didaskalain--doctrine) that God imparts to him and wants to know. Some people donít understand that "doctrine" is merely teaching.

a. God teaches us to live righteously through his word: "For the grace of God hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and Godly in this present world" (Tit. 2:11,12).

b. God teaches us, through his word, how we are to worship him: "God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth" (Jno. 4:24).

c. God teaches us, through his word, what items of worship he expects us to use in worship to him.

-1- We are to sing (verbal singing only) to him: "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Eph. 5:19).

-2- We are to pray to God: "And they continued steadfastly in the apostleís doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers" (Acts 2:42).

-3- We are to give of our means on the first day of the week: "As I have given order to the churches of Galatia, so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let everyone of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come" (1 Cor. 16:2).

-4- We are to partake of the Lordís Supper on the first day of every week: "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow and continued to preach until midnight" (Acts 20:7).

-5- Preaching is a part of worship: "In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Mt. 15:9). Notice that they were not condemned for preaching as part of worship, but that they were preaching the doctrines of men in their worship.

d. God teaches us, through his word, that we are to prepare for the second coming: "Watch ye therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh" (Mt 25:13).

B. There are many things that the word of God teaches us. When one uses the proper principles of interpretation and honestly wants to find out what the word says, the scriptures will furnish him completely unto all good works (2 Tim. 3:17).

   (2) The Bible is going to be our judge in the day of judgement: "He that rejecteth me and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (Jno. 12:48). When we stand before the judgement seat of Christ our lives will be compared to the word of God. If we have lived according to the word of God we will be saved, but if not, we will be lost.

   (3) The Bible is not to be added to or subtracted from: "Ye shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord you God which I command you" (Deut. 4:2). John wrote: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" (Rev. 22:18,19).

   Since the book shows man how to live, and since it will be our judge in the day of judgement, common sense shows that it is not to be added to or taken from. Thus it is authoritative.

   I will stop here so that Mr. Hadley can respond to the things that I have written in this article. Thank you for your kind attention and now I ask you to give your attention to Mr. Hadley.

In Christ's Service,
Jerry D. McDonald

CHALLENGE is published quarterly by Challenge Publications.
Jerry D. McDonald, Editor; Michael P. Hughes, Associate Editor.

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