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May 24, 2006

Dear Concerned Citizen,

by Dr. Benjamin Wiker
side bar side bar The trick is quite simple: the Revolutionist "finds" a lost Gospel, publishes it, and declares that the lost Gospel is the real Gospel, suppressed by Big Bad Church Meanies in the first centuries of Christianity.  The real Gospel is then trumpeted as the picture of Christianity as its author and originator intended it.  A plot as predictable as a Harlequin romance.

The funny thing about the lost-found-real Gospel:  it always seems to bear a striking resemblance to the discoverer's idea of what Christianity should look like, rather than what it has actually been for the centuries prior to the discovery.  In other words, Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code tells us more about Dan Brown than it does about Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, or Leonardo Da Vinci.  Dan Brown (and not Da Vinci) is simply painting the Jesus and Church history he wishes were real. That it has become so popular tells us how far our culture has strayed from its Christian roots, not (as Brown would have it) how far the Church has strayed from true Christianity.

But again, this is nothing new. Let's skip back a few centuries and view another "Dan Brown," the radical early Enlightenment figure John Toland.  Comparatively little is known for certain of Toland's early life. Rumored to be the illegitimate offspring of an Irish Roman Catholic priest and his concubine, John Toland was born in Ireland on November 30, 1670, and was raised a Roman Catholic, until he converted to Protestantism in his mid-teens. But soon enough, after a trip to liberal Holland in the early 1690s, he rejected Christianity completely, and became a devoted Pantheist. (Pantheism is a form of radical materialism based on the notion that God and nature are identical.) He then embarked on a life-long campaign to displace Christianity with Pantheism.

Toland generally kept his radical views from the public.  Privately, he kept company with a transnational group of like-minded radicals.  This group not only got together and discussed the most recent, tantalizing, subversive literature, but (like all good modern revolutionaries) engaged in a far-flung enterprise of disseminating subversive literature.

One of the "products" exported all over Europe and England by Toland's group was the infamous Treatise of the Three Impostors, the impostors being Moses, Jesus Christ, and Mohammed. The Treatise railed against the Bible as a "book [that] is only a tissue of fragments stitched together at different times... a book...which no one understands, it is so obscure & ill conceived; a book which serves only to foment divisions." 

According to the Treatise, Moses was "an able Charlatan, and a conjurer" who used "pretended Magic" to dupe the "imbecile Populace" of Jews into thinking he had contact with the Divine so that he could lord it over them. Jesus was also an imposter, who "got himself followed by some imbeciles whom he persuaded that the Holy Spirit was his Father; & his Mother a Virgin: these good people, accustomed to indulge themselves in dreams & fancies, adopted his notions & believed all that he wanted,...As the number of fools is infinite, Jesus Christ found Subjects everywhere;..."  Mohammed was treated no better.

Obviously Toland and his circle had nothing but contempt for Christianity. But that contempt couldn't afford to be too bold.  In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Christianity still had a firm alliance with political power. So, The Treatise of the Three Impostors was published anonymously and smuggled around the censors. 

But what has all this to do with Dan Brown and the Da Vinci Code? While Toland had contempt for Christianity, he also had a healthy fear of being too public about it, given that Christians were in power.  He certainly couldn't risk persecution by carrying on his revolution in the light of day.

What to do? How could he de-claw Christianity? Well, interestingly enough John Toland "happened" to find a lost Gospel, the "ancient Gospel of Barnabas" (not to be confused with the real early Church document, the Epistle of Barnabas).  He published his findings in 1718 in a book called Nazarenus.

According to Toland, the Gospel of Barnabas reveals "the true and original Christianity," a Gospel that was buried, curiously enough, in a "Gospel of the Mahometans."  Muslims used the Gospel of Barnabas to vindicate their belief that Jesus Christ was not divine but only human, and that Jesus actually designated Mohammed as the coming prophet.

Toland argued that if we remove the overlay of Islam, we actually receive a glimpse of the beliefs of the earliest Christians, the Ebionites or "Nazarens," who believed that Jesus was only a "mere man."  The Nazarens were "the first Christians, and consequently the only Christians for some time." Unlike the later, institutional Church, the first Christians "affirmed Jesus to have been a mere man, as well by the father as the mother's side, namely [he was] the son of Joseph and Mary, but that he was just, and wise, and excellent, above all other persons, meriting to be called the Son of God by reason of his most virtuous life."

Toland reported all this in the most scholarly and detached manner, with plenty of footnotes to ancient texts in Latin and Greek, and cleverly let it to the reader to draw the desired conclusion: if the earliest Christians believed that Jesus was a mere man, the son of Joseph and Mary, and only the later Christians declared him to be divine, then...

You've got it!  The institutional Church, full of greedy priests and cut-throat prelates, has been suppressing the truth about Jesus all this time to feather its nest!  They pretended that Jesus was divine so that they could control the masses for their own gain! It's all a vast conspiracy! 

Sound familiar? It does if you've read Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code.

But it was a conspiracy...of Toland's. While there is a Gospel of Barnabas mentioned by the Fathers of the early Church, the text Toland discovered was actually an elaborate forgery, written sometime during the 14th to 16th century in Europe (perhaps Spain or Italy), a sign of which is that the "Gospel" contains a number of embarrassing anachronisms and confusions that show that the writer was very familiar with medieval Europe but not very familiar with the Holy Land of the first century.

Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. As the inimitable Yogi Berra would say, "It's Déjà Vu all over again."

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Responses to: The Age of the Universe

The Bible does allude to the universe being older than what we actually can see in the Bible. There could have been billions and trillions of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. Verse 1 says that there was a creation in the beginning. Verse 2 states: "And the earth was without form (lie in waste), and void (an indistinguishable ruin); and darkness (destruction) was upon the face of the deep (water supply). And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." The Bible clearly states that Satan was cast down to the earth (Luke 10:18; Isaiah 14:12-14). When was this done? I believe there was a creation here before Adam. God told Adam to replenish the earth. The prefix "re" means "to do again". You replenish something that hasn't been plentiful. Just some food for thought. - Pastor Mark Campbell

The Age of the Universe article seems to me to merely be the days-are-epochs by another name. Just a brief overview: One must accept the notion that time is relative. And one would have to accept the idea that even though God said day and morning was one day – that it day and morning wasn’t really one day. And of course why would God use the word “day” which the author believes constitutes not a standard time when other words would fit better? Question: Who says that when God creates, the thing He created must look new? I can explain if this interests you. - Linus L. Baker

Thanks for the information. At least now I know we are on the same page. I haven't had opportunity to completely study your concept but will carefully do so. I believe it is a lot like what I have been preaching for over thirty years (twenty-six years before it kept bothering me until the Lord gave me the answer). I believe the stalactites and stalagmites, etc., were created in the adult stage as were all other things, including anamal and man. If this is so, then they look their age as everything else did (brief explanation of my views). Thanks, - Pastor Max Courtney

This is retarded ! Once agaoin God's people asleep at the wheel. We strain at the nat of the "Age of the Universe" and smallow the camels of injustice and suffering all around the globe and in our own families. I wonder what Amos would preach if he were alive today ? We have Jesus and we still miss the Messiah ! - M. L.

Thank you for Dr. Shroeder's series on Creation, and especially the May 16 article that sums up his observations. Without the background to quantify the numbers, as Dr. Shroeder so ably has done, I had come to a very similar conclusion from the scriptures that say that God "stretched out the heavens" in testament to his mighty power (some of the best are Job 9:8, Ps 104:2, Isa 40:22, 42:5, 44:24, 45:12, 51:13, Jer 10:12, and 51:15). Some of these verses talk about God stretching out the heavens like a tent or a canopy, for habitation. I think that's where the G is in "E=MC2." In "Genesis time" the hands would fly in a blur around the face of the cosmological clock during God's stretching--expanding--the universe. But for Adam, and for us, the tick-tock-tick of the mantle clock proceeds with steadiness, assuring us that we can trace our days and years to the Beginning, wrought with incredible power by a God of purpose who has recorded the epochs for us. He is the same Creator who has already decreed an appointment for Creation with the moment when "...The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire..." (2 Peter 3:10) Sounds like a cosmic exit with strong similarities to the entrance. When Time tolls its last bell—whether we are considering the Adam Clock or the Atom Clock— we shall be, in every way, out of time, and into Eternity. Many thanks to Dr. Shroeder, and To the Source, for helping us see how it all fits together. - Pastor Ron Heffield

I believe in the Bible account of a literal 6 day time period for the creation. There is a lot of good information on the following website from Dr. Kent Hovin, Creation Scientist: http://www.drdino.com/ All of the objections of the "old universe theories" are answered. - Jim Morrison

Sorry, but Schroeder is is trying to impose the presupposition of uniformitarian thinking onto the Bible in order to try to make the Bible fit his billions of years so-called science, rather than making his science fit what god told us He did. He's in the same camp as Hugh Ross and the Day-Age compromisers. An eight year study just completed recently that measured maximum possible ages based on certain rates of decay, amount of helium in the atmosphere, salt in the oceans, and other types of experiments. Using the uniformitarian presupposition, that change is slow and uniform, the maximum age of the oceans and the atmosphere only calculate out to a couple of million years at best. I would recommend Dr. Terry Mortensen's "The Great Turning Point" where he documents how "billions of years" thinking came about and crept into the church to compromise the history of Genesis. The order of most Big Bang models is evolutionary in thinking and the order is way out of whack with the order laid down in Genesis. Except for this compromised series on creation, your weekly news letters have been timely and beneficial to helping to counter the popular secular culture. Sadly, though, you've blown it with Schroeder's model. Regards, - Craig Jones

The article I just read was about the biggest amount of waffle I have ever read in my life (Ro 1:22-23 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things)! I apologise if that seems a little blunt but I am amazed that Scientists who call themselves Christians are still alligning themselves to a hypothesis of origin concerning the universe such as Evolution. Darwin was a godless Christ-rejecter and those who purport his groundless theory do so in any effort to reject the historical Biblical account. Dr Schroeder's account is not much different to the Gap theory as it is another threshhold evolutionary theory where a professing believer bows to feigned science. Let us talk about facts if we are going to be Scientific. 1. Neither I nor Dr. Schroeder was there when the universe was created so how and when comes down to supposition (faith). 2. To believe that an organised system came from an explosion is completely unscientific as it defies the second law of Thermodynamics. To bring God into the equation makes it an issue of faith. So we are back to faith! 3. Science does NOT demonstrate that the universe is old. 4. Certain "not completely reliable" methods of dating, such as carbon dating, may seem to suggest an old earth but certain suppositions have to be made. Therefore scientific "guesswork" has to be brought into the equation. - Les Hill

There is still one major problem with Schneider's attempt to put science and the Bible together. The Bible teaches that death did not come into our world until Adam and Eve sinned. Dr. Schneider has death here for almost a billion years before Adam. Both cannot be right. I will stick to the Bible thank you. - Bob Brauer

I find Gerald Schroeder's statement "at the speed of light, time does not exist. Once light beams became matter they entered the realm of time." to be hard to believe. If man were able to match the speed of light, would that mean that time would stop for anyone or anything travelling at that speed? I am not altogether sure I understand what he is trying to say with this statement and with his theory about the expansion of the universe. If I look at board from one end and it is 5' long, then when I look at the same board from the other end, it will still be 5'. I think I may be a slow learner or something, but could he explain this a bit more in detail? Thank you - Sam Keller (Australia)

Anyone with an NIV Study Bible can read what Christians have know for hundreds of years and biblical scholars have said over and over again but which has been ignored by popular Christianity during an age of scientism: The Genesis 1 account does not follow a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 progression. Rather, the first three days are a reversal of "shapeless" in Gen. 1:2 and the next three days are a reversal of "empty" in Gen. 1:2. So, Day 1 reverses the shapelessness of the pre-creation darkness of Gen. 1:2 (notice, light is created, not darkness in Day 1), giving shape to the darkness and light in the creation of days. Day 4 corresponds to this by filling the darkness with lights (notice, the sun and moon are not called "sun" or "moon" but lights, greater and lesser). Day 2 reverses the shapelessness of the pre-creation waters of Gen. 1:2 (notice, the waters are the only other uncreated thing in the whole account), giving shape the seas and the skies. Day 5 corresponds to this by filling the seas with swimming creatures and sea monsters and the skies with flying creatures. Day 3 has two acts of creation: dry land and vegetation. Likewise, Day 6, corresponding to Day 3, has two acts of creation. The land animals and humans fill the dry land. And vegetation is "filled" by being given the purpose of being eaten as food on Day 6. Why else would the whole part of vegetation for food be mentioned in a creation story? It's there because everything in the first three days must find it's filling/purpose in the next three days. And, of course, the whole account finds its culmination in the rest of the seventh day. This isn't my fancy idea. Christians have noticed this for centuries. Theories that try to shove a pre-scientific, millennia old account into a scientific box do harm to the biblical text. But not only to the text, they do harm to themselves, since they refuse to learn from the text what it intends to teach. But there's no space in this e- mail for that. Yours in Christ and grateful for God's revelation, - Pastor Peter Santucci

I very much enjoyed reading Dr. Schroeder's article about Genesis time and human time and reconciling the creation in the Bible with scientific belief. I am curious about the transition when Adam received the Neshama. The sixth 24 hour day for God would seem to be a split day between Genesis time (say 130 million years) and human time (say 10 hours). Would this be the case or could we humans still be in God's sixth day? From a scientific view I see God existing outside of time. I could see his seventh day of rest referred to in the past tense even though it has not yet happened in human time. - S. C. F.

Fascinating article, but even though he tried hard to speak in layman’s terms, much of it was still over my head. I would love to have a clearer explanation of how and why the expansion of the universe affects our view of time. Thanks, - Doug Felton

Dr. Schroeder's best statement was in his openning paragraph, "God could have put the fossils in the ground and juggled the light arriving from distant galaxies to make the world merely appear to be billions of years old." Of course God did. (If the sequential creation described in Genesis is accurate. And I am bound to believe the Bible.) God had to create it with apparent age for it to work. He created chickens, not eggs. He created a mature apple tree with fruit, not a seed, so that Adam could eat fruit his first day of living. If you could have had a Doctor there to examine Adam a second after God created him, the Doctor would have concluded that, in his experience, Adam would have been 20 years old (or whatever). You'd say, "Ha! He's only one second old!" But you can't fault the Doctor for assuming Adam's age from the length of time now taken for a man to get to maturity. That's all astronomers do as they look at the universe, and we should not fault them for it. "Apparent Age" explains it. But what troubles me is Dr. Schroeder's ideas from there. Just because most scientists claim the universe is a trillion times larger than it was at nucleosynthesis, does NOT mean that it expanded a trillion days' worth every one of the six days of creation. And Dr. Schroeder gives no explanation for why he makes this leap. Unfortunately, it amounts to "hand-waving" to make the numbers fall out properly. On the contrary, the heavens and earth were created with apparent age on the first day. (Gen 1:1-5 says that earth, waters, light and darkness were all present by the end of the first day.) Stick with "Creation with Apparent Age". And stop there. - Pastor Scott Plavnick

It's a nice exercise in semantics but it is based on a wrong premise to begin with. Genesis 1:5 does indeed say, "The evening and the morning were the first day." First is from the Hebrew word, ehcad, meaning "one." Day is from the Hebrew word, yom, which when used in a literal sense means from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next. Figuratively it can carry a more expanded meaning, but in context it can only mean one 24 hour period. When you start developing formulas to prove a pre-conceived theory your idea becomes no more credible than Grant Jeffries' hidden Bible codes. The "sea of very long, 'cold' echoes" of radiation in space only proves the Big Bang to those who already accept the notion that there was a Big Bang. There are many scientists that reject that theory altogether. Read the works of Henry Morris. Science, as well as history, archeology, astronomy, and even medicine, has proven the Bible to be correct in every case. There is no need to parcel meanings to words taken out of context to reconcile science and the Bible. They are already reconciled. Evolutionary science is not science at all, but a pseudo-science, which was invented in the first place to disprove the Biblical account of creation. The Word of God is just that: God's Word. It is accurate, and proven to be accurate, as it is written. It is a waste of time to try and explain it away to satisfy non-believers. There is no need for that. - Lance Patterson

This is a good clarification by Schroeder of his position! I had stopped reading his series because it appeared to be just another day-age theory. Though I have some questions about the order of creation in Scripture vs. that suggested by evolutionists, I now plan to catch up by reading the missed articles. This is a stimulating topic. Singing His Praises, - Jon Whiting

Dear friends: I greatly enjoy reading tothesource. Here is a response to an email you received and published. I enjoyed reading the responses re the DaVinci code in the tothesource email dated May 16, 2006. I read with great interest the email from Sylvia Genders. I appreciated her succinct insights regarding the fact that most of the claims made by the DaVinci code were in error. However, I would like to respond to her comments about the Name El Shaddai, and her comments about Christ’s human life He lived. First, the Name El-Shaddai, has as its word origin the Hebrew word sh-d, or perhaps sh-d-d. The Hebrew consonants sh-d, dv can mean female breast (Is 28:9), or evil spirit (translated such in Dt 32:17 and Ps 106:37), or spoiling, violence, destruction (as in Is 22:4). Context (later vowel pointing) helps differentiate. The Hebrew consonants sh-d-d ddv have as their meaning “devastate, lay waste”. The idea behind this word is that the one laying waste is mightier than the opposition, thus “almighty”; someone who cannot be resisted; someone who can accomplish anything wished. There are several good Hebrew lexicons available for word studies. To translate El Shaddai as the “many breasted one” presses the definition in the wrong direction. Certainly Aphrodite was the “many breasted” goddess. But the God of the Bible and of creation disdains any comparison to other gods or goddesses. Plus, the language of both the Old and New Testaments press for masculine translations in their verb endings. This is NOT to say God is masculine; God is spirit; He does not in that sense possess physical gender characteristics. Thus, I think the best translation for El Shaddai is “God Almighty”, not God the “many-breasted one.” Secondly, regarding Christ’s human nature and the human life He lived, the Bible teaches us that He is God, become human. He took the male gender upon Himself, perhaps for at least this reason: to become the Second Man, or Second Adam. All of us were in the First Adam; his failure accrued (accounted) to the human race by our union with him; all those now in Christ, the Second Adam, have His victory and righteousness accrue (account) to them; this by union through faith in Him. This is the teaching of the fifth chapter of Romans. Christ’s “male-ness” may do nothing more than match the original male-ness of the First Adam. I don’t believe it is a statement of gender superiority in any way. Also, Christ, the Perfect Man, would of necessity need to remain celibate and not marry. Humans inherit a sinful nature from parents with the same. Christ, conceived through the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary, has no sinful nature; He is not conceived through the union of sinful humans. He takes our nature upon Himself by union with an ovum supplied by Mary; that ovum is not sinful; it is simply, human flesh. It is human nature that is sinful, not human (physical) flesh. Thus, matter is not evil (Gnosticism); Christ bears such. But He will remain unmarried because His physical seed would generate a human with perhaps, who knows, what type of nature? Also, children are born into God’s family not through “fleshly”, physical means, but through spiritual birth. And, although Christ certainly would have been a perfect husband and parent, He lived fully within human family life without needing to marry or father children. Can anyone claim that a human is not “whole” simply because she/he chooses, or is unable to marry and procreate? Lastly, men have no justification whatsoever to claim any type of superiority over women just because Jesus was male in gender (see my argument above). Greatness is found in servanthood, and anyone can accomplish this. The Biblical account shows that women always felt welcomed into Christ’s presence; never did He teach nor claim any superiority for males. Male and female are equal, though they take part in differing roles in creation. Children also were welcomed by Jesus, and we adults are told that unless we become like them, we shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It is the world that devalues children through practices such as abortion. The Bible and the Church value children, women, men, seniors, disabled; indeed, all humans; all are made in God’s image. Respectfully, - Greg Haslow

Granted Schroeder's statement that scientist can and have been wrong, Dr. Schroeder's continual caveats throughout the article about what God could have done (ex: God could have put the fossils in the ground and juggled the light arriving from distant galaxies to make the world merely appear to be billions of years old)are unworthy science. In addition to his conjectures about what God could have done there is his wooden use of Scripture. Some Scripture is not to be taken literally as when the Psalms talk about the hills skipping. Some is metaphor. Some is poetry. His article is interesting reading like the Da Vinci code but I view it as a step backward in trying to see the relation between Biblical witness and science. - Tom McLaren

ToTheSource Editor, I would like to respond to Dr. Schroeder's article, "The Age of the Universe". While I found the article very interesting, I also found it rather troublesome. Below I have spelled out 3 areas of concern I see with Dr. Schroeder's article. First, I believe that the distinction of "Genesis time" vs "human time" is a forced interpretation. The Scriptures are God's revelation to mankind. God is awesome beyond our comprehension. He has chosen to reveal Himself and His Truth to us through the Scriptures. We are the intended audience and therefore must assume that He has chosen to communicate to us in the context of our limited perspective, knowledge and understanding. I believe that we must assume that the Scriptures were written from our perspective, not because its "always about us and how we see things" but because any other perspective would make them beyond our understanding. Second, if I understand the argument correctly, day 5 and part of day 6 would correlate to 1 trillion days in "Genesis time" per day in "human time". Since the aquatic animals and birds were created on day 5 and land animals on day 6, this would imply that there was death prior to the sin. Death is a direct consequence of sin. Any interpretation which places death, disease or suffering before sin, into the world that God called "very good", must be rejected as false. Finally, evolution and the old earth are conclusions that have been reached by interpreting scientific data based upon the faulty assumptions of naturalism. We cannot start with these conclusions and try to make them fit God's Word. We must start with God's absolute, unchanging Truth as our foundation and interpret the data accordingly. In our culture today, we accept "science has proven" as truth. As Christians, we need to return to God's revealed Truth as our basic assumption, study the raw scientific data accordingly and reach new conclusions. Thanks and God bless, - Bob Matt

G. Schroeder's theories are regurgitated gobbledy-gook. It reminds me of the Mormon explanation using the diameter of the star on which God is supposed to live. Why not let a significantly powerful allegory stand on its own merit? - Jim Frisbie

Actually, the universe is just one week old. God put all memories and "facts" to the contrary in place at that time. All of "history" and "science" are simply fictions created by God for His own purposes. He may very well have done this an infinite number of times, for His own amusement. Prove me wrong. - Harry A. Madden

The first verse of the bible is undated and untimed. All that appears ancient in the universe could have happened then, thus being as old as science thinks they are. But to make God create things that 'appear' old when they are young makes God the architect of a lie, and that I cannot abide. I'd much rather think the error is in my own understanding, not in some Godly deception. - R. H.

I do not read your artical very often but thought I would read this one. & your trying to explain the age of the universe will not hold water you quoted Gen. 1:5 & tried to say that the bible does not say first day I don't know what translation your are using but you need to go back to the KJV because here is what it says. "Genesis 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." Next time get your facts correct. - Pastor Bill Baulding

Actually, even the universe is now at least 6010 years old -- if one believe the Genesis geneologies, as one should! - Rev. Professor-Emeritus Dr. Francis Nigel Lee

This is not very clever: "God could have put the fossils in the ground and juggled the light arriving from distant galaxies to make the world merely appear to be billions of years old." God could have created the universe upon the very second you opened this email and built it with a memory so it appeared as if it existed before. My question is, who created God? - Al Lewis

A true nut - K. M.

Journey Church (New York City) has a great pod cast on this also... - Pastor Charles E. Hill

"The Age of the Universe" by Gerald Schroeder is foolishness. It is an attempt to fit the history of the universe into some pre-determined notion of history and based on a certain reading of the Bible. It is an attempt to force a square peg into a round hole. The notion of seven literal days is an incorrect way of reading Genesis 1 and into the first three and a half verses of Chapter 2. It is an attempt to make things rational and reasonable. By doing so, the result is neither good science nor good theology. The most offensive thing about Schroeder's and others' approach like this is that it creates a god which is not the God of the Scriptures and a God I don't want. The reason is that if what Schroeder posits is true, then God plays games with us. It refutes the scientific endeavor, and it makes God into a false God. The world isn't in fact several billions of years old but merely 5000 plus. God made it "seem" that things are old when in fact they are not, according to Schroeder's approach. That means that God lies to us, makes of creation a pretense, in order to fit the way we choose to interpret the scriptures. I don't want God to play games with me, to pretend that things are older than they really are. That God is not the God of the Scriptures because God then is not the God of truth. This kind of notion of creation is idolatry, a notion of a creation of our own making and a God of our own making and the God who is not found in Scripture. - Verle Reinicke

Responses to other tothesource articles:

To the editor: I enjoy reading the expert opinions of your contributors and the opinions of your readers (even though I don't always agree with them). I also enjoyed reading Dan Brown's four books of fiction (two of which were of religious issues). He writes well, which is certainly one reason why he sells so many books. He also takes major contemporary issues and weaves a story around them. He does all this without resorting to the level of grossness, clinical sex, cruelty and violence that we see in so much fiction these days. Why is it that in religious matters, when so much is a matter of faith, some people are seriously offended when their belief is questioned. Have they considered that this might be a real opening to explain their beliefs, while the world is tuned in. Christ gave us a relatively simple message to follow: to love God and love your "neighbor"as yourself. Christ who did not sin, but was human as well as divine (based on our belief), could have been married and had a child for all we know. The Bible is relatively silent on his years as a young adult, but we do know that it was considered normal to marry early. Was having a wife or a child a sin in those days. Of course not. It was human. I can guess why some faith groups would have trouble with our Lord having sex and fathering a child, and to have women raised to the level of men for leadership purposes, but that doesn't bother me in my faith. - D. Olson

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We live complex lives. We strive to sort out priorities that sometimes conflict or seem incompatible. A moral framework is needed to help us understand the reality around us. Our Judeo-Christian heritage provides a framework to help us comprehend the choices we make and the conflicts that arise over them. It is not only the main source of our spiritual values, but also many of the secular values we depend on.

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Ben Wiker  Trans Benjamin Wiker
Benjamin Wiker holds a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Vanderbilt University, and has taught at Marquette University, St. Mary's University (MN), and Thomas Aquinas College (CA).

He is now a Lecturer in Theology and Science at Franciscan University of Steubenville (OH), and a full-time, free-lance writer. Dr. Wiker is a Senior Fellow of Discovery Institute and a Senior Fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. He writes regularly for a variety of journals.

Dr. Wiker just released a new book called Architects of the Culture of Death (Ignatius). His first book, Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists, was released in the spring of 2002 (InterVarsity Press). He has written another book on Intelligent Design for InterVarsity Press called A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature (due out in Spring 2006).
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