Categories
Reviews

The Mysterious Islands Review

September was a horrific month of blogging for me. My apologies. Let’s start off October with a film review. Last night, Carly and I watched The Mysterious Islands, a documentary about a team of researchers who explore the Galapagos Islands — the “ground zero” of Darwinism — off the west coast of South America.

Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands nearly 180 years ago.  He wanted to observe the animals on the islands in order to better understand how life began and how species evolve and adapt.  It wasn’t until 1859 that Darwin would consolidate his observations into his famous Origin of the Species and change the way the Western world looked at life and nature.

In this film, Doug Philips, his son Joshua Philips, Dr. John Morris, and their team witness the majesty of the wild that Darwin saw: giant tortoises that can live to be 200 years old (and nearly 6 feet long!), white-tip sharks in the cold Atlantic waters, ferocious birds dive bomb the coast to find breakfast, and much more.

Their main goal, however, is to show that these islands are a showcase of God’s creation, not a laboratory of evolution. Philips and Morris attempt to answer this question by examining three things on the island: the volcanic rock beneath their feet, the cormorant bird with wings too small to fly, and the salt-sneezing marine iguanas.

Perhaps their most compelling argument against evolution came when the director asked Philips, “What would it mean for the world if Darwin’s theory of evolution was true?”  Philips responded by saying that human life would have no inherent value. He proceeded to talk about the connection between evolution, racism, and genocide.  Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood) and Adolf Hitler are two examples Philips mentioned who held to evolutionary theory. They took it to its logical level: bringing about the survival of the fittest by their own power.

Philips and Morris have clear answers, and their arguments are convincing and faithful to God’s creative design and objective research.  The evolutionist will no doubt find their answers to be biased and tainted with Christian lenses, but Philips addresses this. The team uses good science, but perhaps most importantly, they do not litter the film with Bible lingo and Christian clichés.

As for artistic value, this documentary is solid film making.  The cinematography is masterful.  The music is stirring. The dialogue is engaging, and the story is entertaining, intellectual, and compelling. My wife and I both agreed that it was the best Christian film we have ever seen. You could say that doesn’t mean much. But this documentary would stack up against any other for its beauty, creativity, and controversial nature.

I recommend The Mysterious Islands to anyone who wants a scientific, holistic, intelligent, fresh approach to Creationism. Christian or not, I promise, you will not be disappointed.

I will be giving away a FREE copy of The Mysterious Islands.  Make sure to read my next post to find out how to enter to win.

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Disclosure: I received on more more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention in here. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Categories
Life Theology

Meditating on Massive Realities

The other day, at work during a training class, I was drifting off into theology land, as I often do, and I was hit with the reality that God is. He exists. I couldn’t come up with other words. I was bumbling in my head. I was thinking, God is and always has been. He’s…there…here. That is massive.

Then I was struck with the reality that I exist. I breathe and talk and walk and think. I am actually alive.  That is a massive reality.  Add onto that another layer of heavy, cosmic bricks: God created me and knows me. How about one layer more: God reigns over the universe, including my small world, and controls it all with wisdom and ease.

That’s enough to make you think for eternity. These are massive realities, and as I sat in a small training class with sixteen other people, I was worshiping in my heart. And now, as I type, I think of God’s words to Moses in Exodus 3 when Moses asked, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”  God answered Moses like this: “I AM WHO I AM…Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” (3:13-14).

“I AM” (God’s name, “Yahweh” in Hebrew) communicates a self-dependent, unchanging existence. It communicates sovereignty and freedom. That is massive.  But God does not merely exist; he is a God who reveals himself. He initiated with the people of Israel, to give himself to them and to save them. And he reveals himself to you and me through his word — the story he has written since creation. What a great God!

Because of this, I need to ask myself (and you need to ask yourself) a few questions: Is the God I worship the self-dependent, unchanging, sovereign, and free One? Or do I worship a god that is dependent, changeable, powerless, and bound? Do I worship the creator God, or something that has been created?

These massive realities are of infinite importance, and our eternity hangs on what we do with them.

Categories
Life

Father, Long Before Creation

This is one of my favorite hymns. It was originally a Chinese hymn, and it was translated by Francis P. Jones.  It was most recently re-recorded by Matthew Smith on the Beams of Heaven: Indelible Grace IV project.

*               *               *

Translated by Francis P. Jones
Music and Chorus by Andrew Osenga

Father, long before creation
Thou hadst chosen us in love,
And that love so deep, so moving,
Draws us close to Christ above.
Still it keeps us, still it keeps us
Firmly fixed in Christ alone.

Though the world may change its fashion,
Yet our God is e’er the same;
His compassion and His covenant
Through all ages will remain.
God’s own children,
God’s own children
Must forever praise His name.

God’s compassion is my story,
Is my boasting all the day;
Mercy free and never failing
Moves my will, directs my way.
God so loved us,
God so loved us
That His only Son He gave.

Loving Father now before Thee
We will ever praise Thy love,
And our songs will sound unceasing
‘Til we reach our home above,
Giving glory,
giving glory
To our God and to the

Giving glory,
giving glory
To our God and to the Lamb.

Categories
Life

You Can’t Make Science to Mean Something it Doesn’t Mean

I’m not a scientist.  My science classes in college were geology, meteorology, and food science.  The best I did in high school was a B in honors physics at a public school.  And even that grade should be investigated.

So allow my non-scientific mind to think through something with you.

Often in debates about evolution and creation, I hear people argue for evolution (that is, the origin of the universe via big-bang) by saying, “Science proves it.  Science is not faith, it’s fact.”   They do this by talking about carbon dating, fossils, and the fact that Noah couldn’t really have had all those animals in the ark.

Well, science is “fact” if you are talking about how a tree grows, how a car moves, or how my heart works.  You can prove those things.  But science cannot prove the origin of the universe.  “Yes it can!” people tell me.

No.  It can’t.

Why?  When we refer to science, we usually mean “systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.”  We come to this knowledge of the physical world by using the scientific method, which Merriam-Webster defines as “principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.”

You cannot re-create a universe as vast, complex, organized, and beautiful as ours in a test tube in order to collect data about how it began.  It just can’t happen.

So if you hold that the origin of the universe is due to a randomized explosion of atomic particles, that’s fine by me.  Just don’t call it science.  Call it what it is: faith, belief, and religion.

Categories
Theology

True Joy is Found in Insignificance

This morning I read about Jesus feeding the five thousand and walking on water from Mark 6.  The disciples didn’t understand.  In fact, Mark says that their hearts were hardened.  What the disciples didn’t get was the fact that the God who created water, fish, bread, and the world was sitting and talking with them.

Then I began to think about molecules, atoms, protons, neutrons, electrons and the like.  I’m not scientific at all, but when you let your mind wander into the vast complexities of these invisible structures that make up the universe, you don’t feel important anymore.  Actually, I would argue that it’s impossible to think about such things and feel significant in yourself.

But I didn’t feel this way because of the atoms or protons themselves.  It’s ultimately the result of knowing and loving the infinite God who, with a single word, created those things and everything else — including me — in the universe.

That will make you feel small.  That will give you true joy.