The Thinking Christian

Do Christians forgo thinking because of faith? This is hardly the case given that many of the greatest thinkers of the past, and a great number of the scientific advancements we now rely upon were the result of the research and deep thinking of men and women who were profoundly Christian. The Bible says, Proverbs 25:2 (KJV) "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

Great minds have seen this passage as the mandate of the LORD to be students of life and nature. They have been mathematicians, astronomers, doctors, philosophers, humanitarians and scientists. 


Much has been made lately of Katherine Johnson, the female mathematician who helped the astronauts reach the moon. They said that Neil Armstrong requested that every computer calculation be doubled checked by Mrs. Johnson. He trusted her mind more than the computers! What many fail to see is that she was a devout Christian. Her daughters said that she was faithful in her church all of her life, few ever knowing the near heroic role she played in our space program.


I charge the non-Christian of being the one who has stopped thinking. It is the average non-believer who has trusted in science they have only heard of and never tested on their own. They believe in and hope in the testimony of scientists that they do not know by name, to be correct in the theories that they have never been able to observe, trust or reproduce.


Those who have quit searching out a thing are those whose faith has been placed in science falsely so-called and therefore has been stunted.


Marvin McKenzie

In the fields

Patterns of Evidence: Exodus

Patterns of Evidence: Exodus

My wife and I watched Patterns of Evidence[1] with “skeptical interest.” The subject was of interest to me but, not knowing the source of the documentary, I had no idea if the program would conclude that the exodus of Israel from Egypt was a myth, or if it would make fantastic claims with no support or if it would be supportive of the Biblical narrative. We were quite pleased with what we saw. Some observations:

The program demonstrated the sort of worldly blindness that is manifested in almost every academic field.

So-called experts were interviewed who absolutely denied that there was any evidence of Semitic inhabitation of Egypt, let alone of any other portion of the exodus account.

The pattern was manifest quite early in the program. “Experts” have created a historical timeline for Egypt. Though the evidence for their timeline is based on “rags and tatters” it is the accepted narrative of Egyptologists. To depart from the accepted timeline is to lose all credibility in the world of historians. This timeline presumes a small window in which Semitic people could have lived in and then left Egypt. 

Evidence of the presence of Semitic peoples in Egypt during that period of time is not found. They, therefore, claim there is no evidence of Semitic people living in Egypt, ever. The same historians, when confronted, will admit that Semitic people living in Egypt some 100-200 years previous to the window they have “written in” the possibility of Israel living in Egypt. But since they were not there in the only window of time they allow Israel to be there, they could not have been the children of God.

These so-called experts categorically deny the account of the plagues against Egypt.

There is, they admit, real-time, documented evidence of a series of disasters upon Egypt. The real-time descriptions of those disasters sound remarkably like the plaques on Egypt described in the Bible. But since the described disasters happened hundreds of years previous to the only window of time they will allow that the exodus of Israel from Egypt could have happened, then they claim that means they are not an extrinsic validation of the Biblical account.


Likewise, so-called experts can find evidence of the destruction of Jericho (and other cities in Canaan)

That archeological digs provide a picture of the walls of Jericho falling, followed by an intense fire upon the rubble. There is even verifiable archeological evidence of a section of the wall that did not fall (as described in the Bible where Rahab’s dwelling was). However, those archeological “experts” have dated that event as a century or more previous to the window their Egyptian timeline allows, and therefore, they deny it is possible that this catastrophic event in Jericho could have been what the Bible describes.

The timeline is a fabrication made from bits and pieces of real evidence and then constructed on supposition and educated guesswork. Even then, they have not been able to fill on all of the holes in their imagined timeline. One such hole is filled by simply sliding their imagined timeline back a couple of hundred years. When that is done, the Biblical of Israel in Egypt lines up with the archeological evidence, the disasters in Egypt line up with the Biblical account of the plaque in Egypt lines up with the extrinsic documentation, and the Biblical account of the defeat of Jericho lines up with what archeologists know happened at the city.

In other words, when the Bible is used as the standard, history lines up with the evidence.

I can only think of two reasons why the experts cannot admit this obvious hole in their academics: First, they are blinded by their arrogance. Second, they must at all costs find proof the Bible is wrong, or else they become accountable to the God who gave us His Word.

 

Marvin McKenzie

In the Fields

 

Here is a video of the same report. Patterns of Evidence

Why So Many Pastor’s Have Quit During The COVID Crisis

Why So Many Pastor’s Have Quit During The COVID Crisis

I recently read a brief post from a church planter who also works as a coach to church planter.s (He said his clients - he called them friends- come from a broad range of denominations including Methodists, Pentecostals, Baptists, and Non-denominationals.) His post was this brief, “I know 28 friends who have quit the ministry during this COVID crisis. What gives?” I know he wanted to begin a dialog meant to help these struggling church planters and preachers of God’s Word. Given the diversity of doctrine represented by his coaching “ministry”, I am not inclined to engage in that dialog. I will, however, that the problem exists in the “camp” I have been in as much as anywhere.

I think it important to recognize right off the bat that, just because a ministry fails to build roots, or withers to death at some point in its existence, does not mean that the minister of that church has failed. Because that minister has stepped back from the ministry for a time or refitted himself for a different path with Jesus Christ, does not mean he has failed God, failed the church, or failed as a preacher. The chief end of man is to glorify God, not to plant a church, build a church, or even to pastor a church for the rest of your life. I only grow concerned when, for whatever reason, this person walks away from God. I grow equally concerned when he doesn’t quit the ministry but transitions it to a different sort of ministry, hoping that, by doing so, he can feel like a success. Having said this, allow me to address what I think is the foundation of the trouble this “coach” has spotted.

A low view of the ministry

The ministry, church, can be looked upon as some sort of business venture. To be sure, those who view it this way see it as a spiritual venture and therefore, perhaps a noble one, but it is a business venture nonetheless. The pastor might be considered a president of the company or maybe a CEO. If the church is large enough it is very possible that they have an “executive pastor” who is no preacher at all, but responsible for the office of the church. They might have trustees instead of qualified deacons. The church is simply a franchise of the larger denominational corporation. The goal of the minister is to climb the ladder of the denomination more than it is to minister to a flock of needy souls.

In a setting like this, it would be natural to move to another field of work if one comes to believe he is not suited for this one.


A low view of God’s calling

Romans 11:29 (KJV)

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.


Years ago I loaded my little family and our few belongings into a car and moved to Astoria, OR. My objective was to plant a New Testament, Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. I knew it would be challenging. Honestly, I had no idea how challenging. It was my original idea to plant the church, leave it with a pastor and go and do the same again. One was hard enough. I found out very quickly that I do not have the skills necessary to get a good crowd of people together. I had trouble getting a handful together. I felt like an absolute failure the first 3 years we were in Astoria. When the LORD miraculously put together a group of people sufficient to meet my family’s needs, I could not imagine tempting God like that again!

There was one thing that kept me at it in Astoria. I knew God had put me there. If I had left before I knew God wanted to put me somewhere else, I guessed I would be done for. I was called to Astoria. More so, I am called into the ministry. I have other interests but I am called by God to this life. 

How could one who is called by God to the ministry ever abandon it?


A low view of God

Closely associated with a low view of God’s calling is a low view of God Himself. After almost forty years in the ministry, I have come to believe that most professing Christians have almost no concern for God. He is an assumption to them. They acknowledge that He exists, but in their minds, aware of it or not, His only purpose is an excuse to try to get others to believe and act as they wish them to. This was the very reason Benjamin Franklin believed religion was beneficial. He had no belief in God but he did believe the preaching of the Bible tended to develop a moral citizenry. I am afraid the largest number of professing Christians are right there with Mr. Franklin.


I pray that of those twenty-eight men this coach said quit the ministry, some of them will be refreshed and once again enter the work. I am so hopeful that the majority of them will continue to walk with the Lord in a good local church. The thing I wish most will happen is that those disillusioned at this time will come to know the Lord in a way they had never before thought possible.


Marvin McKenzie

In the fields

Honest Answers - Can God?

Logan contacted me and wrote, “God is capable of anything, right?

Okay, Marvin. Can God make an object so heavy that He Himself can't lift it?”


My response to Logan was, “I appreciate sincere questions, Logan. Ask me one.”


Still waiting


Marvin McKenzie
in the fields 

Honest Answers - Exhausting

Patrick wrote, “I'm not here to hate. But as an outsider, it is exhausting to see christians making such claims on a regular basis. I wish you well. I don't know why your ads reached me, but I can assure you that I am not your target audience, friend. Have a blessed week.”


My response, “Thank you for not hating.


I wish you would read the claims and consider them. It might be refreshing rather than exhausting.”


Marvin McKenzie

In the fields


https://marvinmckenzie.org/why

Honest Answers - Bigoted?

Kyle wrote me to say the following, 

______is this bigoted nonsense being _________ to me? 


I sent him the following definition of the word bigoted. “utterly intolerant of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.” I then asked him if it might be he who was bigoted.


His response is inappropriate for me to repeat and confirms my suspicions about who is really bigoted. :-)


Marvin McKenzie

In the fields


Honest Answers

Honest Answers - You First

Rob jumped into the conversation I've had with Michael (perhaps that will inspire Michael to keep on). Rob's present course is to bait me into doing all of the reasoning while they provide no documentation, reason, or substance for their position.

Rob

Marvin, that’s not how the burden of proof works. You are presenting your case, that means the burden falls on you. If you are going to try to make a convincing argument, you can at least attempt to make a sound one.

Marvin McKenzie
Rob
Thank you for commenting. I hope you have taken the time to read the page Michael has responded to. (https://marvinmckenzie.org/why/god-exists). In this case it is how it works. I have presented arguments which support our knowledge that God is. Michael has, in essence, simply said, "I don't believe your arguments." That's his right. I am now asking him to give me a thought-out and reasoned argument for his "faith" that God does not exist. If you would care to read my page and then present an argument why you "know" God does not exist, I would be happy to read it.

Rob
You’re still getting it backwards

Marvin McKenzie
 My FB page, my website, my rules. I would be thrilled to converse with you provided you read my page and respond with well reasoned and thought out input. I am not interested in disagreeing just because a person disagrees. 


Marvin McKenzie
In the Fields

The Thinking Christian

Do Christians forgo thinking because of faith? This is hardly the case given that many of the greatest thinkers of the past, and a great num...