Is MLK Welcome in Reformed Circles?

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American baptist minister, but is more famously known as a civil rights speaker, leader and activist. For the most part, you don’t see a lot of push back against King, however, for the past two years, I’ve seen snide comments written by Reformed men on the internet against King.

They will usually try to poison the well, discount his great work in the civil rights movement by pointing out some moral failings or some theological errors.

I’m not here to tell you he was theologically orthodox, from what I’ve read he wasn’t. That being said, is that really justification to remove any good thing he has done?

On the other hand, I can see how idolizing a mere man is a bad thing, no matter what that man has done. But the push back seems to not be much about theology or worries of idolization, but more about how uncomfortable people are to talk about race.

I know critical theory is out there, but we need not attack MLK. It is quite possible that if MLK was still alive today, he would be critiqued as racist by some. He wanted people to be judged by the content of their character, not their skin color. All too often, we make legislation and decisions based on skin color.

On this day of honoring MLK, let’s remember the good things and his message that we be judged by the content of our character, when you point out the wrong doings of a man and ignore the good he has done, what does that reveal about your character?

When people honor MLK, they’re not honoring MLK the theologian, they’re honoring MLK the civil rights activist.

Why People Laugh at Neo-Ussherians

Young-Earth Creationism (Neo-Ussherianism) is embarrassing.” – Dr. William Lane Craig

Neo-Ussherianism gets its name from James Ussher, Archbishop of the Church of Armagh. Many who hold to his ideas do not even know who he is, but that is a common thing in theology. I wasn’t aware of who John Calvin was until after I had already accepted many Calvinist ideas. Many Arminians today are convinced they aren’t Arminian because they differ in one area or a few. To continue this trend, if you call someone a Neo-Ussherian, they will probably ask what you mean. For all intents and purpose, Neo-Ussherian can be rightly applied to any Young-Earth Creationist, even if they disagree with a few minor points in Ussher’s chronology or theology.

Ussher popularized the idea of counting back the genealogies to see how old the Earth was. Using this method, he gives us an exact date of the beginning of the world. That date is October 23rd, 4004 B.C.

But here is the most interesting part, Ussher did not think the Bible outright taught the age of the Earth, but merely hinted at it through the genealogies. Ussher used contemporary scientific, chronological, historical and biblical scholarship to arrive at his conclusion. In his day, this was considered a serious piece of scholarship and despite disagreeing with it (hindsight is 20-20) it remains the best defense of the Young-Earth Creationist position as far as totality of argument goes.

That being said, Neo-Ussherians today reject this type of inquiry, for it would lead them away from thinking the world was 6,000 years old. The commitment to this view has become dogma, so much so, that many will say you aren’t Christian if you don’t accept it.

This makes conversation between Christians on this issue rather difficult, because your faith is invalidated because you don’t accept Ussher’s chronology.

Grand Canyon In 5 Minutes

Back in the day, there was a popular Neo-Ussherian Youtuber by the name of VenomFangX. He most notably made the claim in defense of a world wide flood that the grand canyon could have been formed in five minutes. Thankfully, I haven’t heard this claimed by anyone for years, but it’s still worthy to address.

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long. To travel that distance in five minutes, you’d have to be traveling 5 times the speed of sound.

The Grand Canyon has had a few theories on how it came to form. None of the three major theories support a Young-Earth creation account. At best, the Grand Canyon took six million years to form where it is today. Though currently, It may be older than we thought, as a study has claimed that it could be 17 million years old.

The Search For Water On Other Planets Is Futile

This was another claim made by VenomFangX in particular, but other Neo-Ussherians have used it as well. That is, until  an express probe took pictures of water on Mars. Surely, since people believe the earth is flat and that the moon landing was fake, I’m sure some think the water on Mars is just another myth from Hollywood to discount the Bible.

The popular Neo-Ussherian website “Answers in Genesis” has an article where they talk about ice ages. You may wonder, when did the ice age occur if the Earth is only 6,000 years old? Well, AiG has the answer for you.

AiG tries to squeeze the ice age into the Bible but fails. The Pleistocene Epoch’s events and organisms prevents a real challenge to fit into a YEC timeline, without some special pleading or God of the gaps level of argumentation.

Summarizing AiG’s paper on this topic, the following timeline is their proposal.

    • 2350 B.C.—Noah’s flood
    • 2350 to 2250 B.C.—Antarctica becomes covered by forests, then gets covered by its ice cap.
    • 2250 to 2000 B.C.—Ice age on the rest of Earth.
    • approx. 2300 B.C.—First mastadons.
    • 2250 B.C.—First human tools in archeological record. Tower of Babel.
    • approx 2200 B.C.—First woolly mammoths.
    • approx 2200 to 2100 B.C.—Age of the Neanderthals.
    • approx 2150 B.C.—Humans migrate into Australia.
    • approx 2100 B.C.—Humans migrate into North America.
    • 2000 B.C.—End of the Ice age. Abram born.

You can read an in-depth analysis of this timeline here.

There are several problems with this timeline.

Their hypothesis does not account for the rapid melting of the ice caps, it also doesn’t account for several things. I will paraphrase some of the research done by Kelvin Nelstead. You can read his critique of the timeline here.

Ancient Soils– In the Pleistocene there are instances where there are multiple, stacked paleosols. Some exposures of the wind-borne Palouse deposits have as many as 19 soils on top of each other, this implies alternating periods of silt accumulation and development, this would take time. The horizons include animal burrows and root casts, which also indicate to us that it was a long time.

HyperEvolution–  According to the Neo-Ussherians, there was a  rapid diversification of life after the flood. There may have even been a few thousand kinds on Noah’s Ark, but these evolved into the tens of thousands of species that were on Earth during the period. They even give an example of diversification of the “elephant kind” into elephants, mastodons, and woolly mammoths. Just how long would that have taken? This all happened between 2350 and 2200 B.C? Such an evolutionary explosion that  would make a punctuated equilibrium advocate blush. This is especially true for mastodons, who have a very different tooth structure from elephants. The Young-Earth Creationist unknowingly argues for a level of Evolution that doesn’t seem to be physically possible.

Pre-Historic Humans– The Neo-Ussherians pack in all of human prehistory such as the Neanderthals, into the time from the flood (2350 B.C according to their time chart) to Abraham (2000 B.C.). If you look at the poster I linked, Neanderthals were around for roughly 100 years according to them.  The Neo-Ussherians in this case would have to  completely ignore archeological sites with multiple levels of habitation.

This is just a few examples of Neo-Ussherians making wild and inaccurate claims, which is a reason why people laugh at them.

Presuppositionalism Over Science

Presuppositionalism becomes a blinder to new scientific discovery when used improperly. An example of this is Dr. Jason Lisle, who wrote a book titled “Taking Back Astronomy.”

It is no wonder that Neo-Ussherians look up to him, he has some hefty credentials. He recieved his Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Colorado Boulder. He earned his undergraduate degree from Ohio Wesleyan University summa cum laude with a double-major in physics and astronomy and a minor in mathematics. His postgraduate research was on solar dynamics, utilizing NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) to monitor the surface of the sun. His dissertation “Probing the Dynamics of Solar Supergranulation and its Interaction with Magnetism” is available from the University of Colorado and he has also published numerous papers in legitimate scientific journals concerning convection cells in the sun.

With such an impressive resume, you’d expect nothing but the best. Dr. Lisle is an amazing scientist, however, I think he lets presuppositionalism get in the way of his scientific thinking. I will show you what I mean.

Dr. Lisle argues that we shouldn’t change what scripture says in light of new scientific evidence (pg.37) because in reality, that evidence would not be actual evidence, because the Bible is true.

Ironically, Dr. Lisle says that the majority of Geology and astronomy textbooks are guilty of circular reasoning because they don’t have a standard. (pg. 41) He even goes on to say “Many scientists believe the world is old because they believe most other scientists think the world is old.” This is remarkably simplistic and a silly line of argumentation.

Maybe if you said that most laymen simply believe the earth is old because they went to COSI once, I’d believe you. But to say that scientists are just going with the flow of the other scientists seems unlikely. Dr. Lisle has peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals, he should know that scientists don’t just try to prove things they also try to debunk them. If the age of the earth was so easy to debunk, someone besides a fringe group of scientists would have done it.

Here’s the thing, let’s say the Earth is 6,000 years old. Why would scientists hide it or not believe it? Just because the Earth is young doesn’t necessarily mean Christianity is true. If there was evidence of a young-earth, any respectable scientist would accept it as true. I think Neo-Ussherians honestly assume that secular scientists either are dishonest people or are blinded to the truth.

But this results in unproveable claims and conspiracy theories, rather than rigorous scientific research.

Dr. Lisle also says that “the big bang is secular speculation….an alternative to the Bible”

This is nonsense. The Big bang isn’t speculation, it’s a theory. Lisle paints it as if it’s just a hypothesis. Some atheists may use the Big Bang as an excuse to not believe the Bible, but the Big Bang isn’t a competitor to the Bible, the Big Bang is a competitor to Neo-Ussherianism, the longer you conflate the two, the more trouble you get yourself in.

The most astonishing claim and why I can understand why some would laugh at even an otherwise respectable scientist like Dr. Lisle is when he says “According to the Big Bang, the universe is nearly 14 billion years old…The Bible indicates the universe is about 6,000 years old. For those who claim to believe the Bible, this difference alone should be sufficient reason to reject the Big Bang.” (pg.43)

This is not scientific nor was this conclusion derived from the scientific method, this is just presuppositionalism. Dr. Lisle again begs the question (Bible = Neo-Ussherianism) and assumes his conclusion to defeat the imaginary opponent.

Even intelligent well-reasoned scientists can be laughed at when they do flops like this.

Conclusion

Why do people laugh at Neo-Ussherians? Scientists laugh at them because their claims are not scientific. Atheists laugh at them because they make Christianity seem dumb. Philosophers laugh at them because they establish a dogma and then interpret everything in the lens of that dogma. Christians laugh at them because they equate their tradition with scripture.

All things being said, Neo-Ussherians are our brothers and sisters in Christ, this is a sibling rivalry, not a contest of who’s going to heaven.

A Not So Cerebral Debate

I waited anxiously for Evan Minton of Cerebral Faith to debate Chris Hansen on whether or not morality is relative. I very much enjoyed the debate, however, not for the reasons you may be thinking. The Christian side was absolutely demolished in my opinion and I will tell you why. (You can check out the debate here)

In the beginning opening statements, Evan reads off a transcript, presumably his own blog, simply quoting the moral argument as phrased by William Lane Craig.

I wasn’t a fan of the reading approach, as the cameras were on and it makes it seem that you aren’t prepared, especially when the person who didn’t write anything down seemed more prepared more than you are.

Despite Evan insisting on a week preparation, he was remarkably unprepared for Chris’ arguments. It seemed from the beginning that Evan was arguing in the hopes that Chris held to any moral values as objective, but could not find it because of Chris’ adherence to moral error theory.

There are sophisticated objections to this theory, however, Evan presented none of these. He rarely even challenged the claims Chris was making, instead he brought out emotional examples like a woman being raped or a baby being put in a fire and then freak out when Chris said that right and wrong don’t actually exist.

Evan seemed dumbfounded that this theory even existed and constantly stumbled and went off incoherent rambles. He also interjected many times, where some the members of the live chat as well as the moderator asked Evan to let Chris talk.

A commentator named General Han Solo made a comment that I thought summarized the debate concisely. He said “Evan spends 20 minutes blowing up a balloon, Chris spends 30 seconds popping it.”

It really was like that. Evan seemed to ramble on forever, just to get shut down by Chris’ objections or Chris for the hundredth time telling Evan that he wasn’t getting it. Because Evan really was unprepared for Chris’ position.

Both of Chris’ main objections to the divine command theory Evan was proposing were not sufficiently answered. Honestly, I think Evan came in with a script and when Chris didn’t follow that script of objections, Evan was astonished.

He also managed to recommend his website and books more than five times throughout the debate. As well as recommending his well-read opponent an introductory book on God and Morality.

Overall, Evan’s rehearsed introduction, flagrant self-promotion, incoherent rambling and lack of debate decorum contributed to his loss to Chris in this debate.

Chris on the other hand came off as well-read, he kept a cool demeanor and was polite despite Evan’s behavior during the debate and successfully rebutted every single one of Evan’s arguments.

It seems Evan hasn’t read Craig on moral error theory, so he wasn’t ready to parrot his points.

Chris is an honest skeptic and a genuinely thought-provoking person. I whole heartily recommend his website, he deserves more views than he is currently getting.

How To Get A Free SSL for your Custom Domain On Blogger

If you’re anything like me, you preferred the blogger platform (I use WordPress now)  because it gave you more for free than other platforms. Not only that, but you could easily purchase a custom domain and have all the HTML you could ever want!

 
Now, if you want that pretty green lock with the word “secure” next to it, there are several ways to do it. You obviously could pay for it, but in the mindset of making a personal blog as cost-effective as possible, here is a free way to obtain an SSL certificate for your blogger blog. 
 
First, you need to register for a free account on Cloudflare. Add your domain to Cloudflare and click on “Scan DNS records.” This will take a minute or two to complete, then Cloudflare will provide you with two custom name servers. 
 
You will then need to add these two custom name servers to your domain. To do this, Go to your domain registrar dashboard (Where you purchased the domain, GoDaddy is an example) and 
 
Go to “My account” and look for anything resembling “Domain Settings”, it might be labeled just “settings” based on who you purchased the domain from. 
 
Look for something indicating “custom” for your nameservers, some might have a simple “change nameservers” click on that. 
 

Replace the current servers with the ones provided by Cloudflare.

Make sure you use CloudFlare’s setting “Always use HTTPS”.

 
Next, we will enable your SSL certificate. 
 


Enabling Your SSL Certificate

 

 
In your Cloudflare account, you should see many clickable tabs, you want to select “Crypto” and in the SSL section you want to change it to “flexible.” 

 

 
Next, you will want to set up your redirects. To do this, click the blue tab that says “page rules” On this tab, you can create 3 page rules. Set one of them as “Always use HTTPS” and put your domain in. Use the other two as forwarding URLs, you can mix it up, so for example, for my website, I’d put Sinnersinthehandsofanangryblog.com for one, and the same thing but www in front of it for the second one. 
 

Blogger HTML Editing 

Now, it is time to go back to your blogger account. Click “Theme” and then “Edit HTML”. 

Once you’re there, click in the box and press ctrl + F and type in  /<head/

Right above /<head/ copy and paste this code. 

<script>
$(document).ready(function() 
{           $("a").each(function() 
{             var i = $(this).attr("href");            
 var n = i.replace(http://www.yourdomain.com, "https://www.yourdomain.com");                               $(this).attr("href", function() {               return n             })           })         });       </script>


After that, look for this code <b:include data=’blog’ name=’all-head-content’/> and replace it with this code right below <head>

<link href='https://www.yourdomain.com/favicon.ico' rel='icon' type='image/x-icon'/>
<meta content='blogger' name='generator'/>
<link href='https://www.yourdomain.com/feeds/posts/default' rel='alternate' title='BLOGTITLE - Atom' type='application/atom+xml'/>
<link href='https://www.yourdomain.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss' rel='alternate' title='BLOGTITLE - RSS' type='application/rss+xml'/>
<link href='https://www.blogger.com/feeds/BLOGID/posts/default' rel='service.post' title='BLOGTITLE - Atom' type='application/atom+xml'/>
<!--[if IE]><script type="text/javascript" src="https://www.blogger.com/static/v1/jsbin/2591933621-ieretrofit.js"></script>
<![endif]-->
<meta expr:content='data:blog.url' name='og:url:domain'/>
<!--[if IE]> <script> (function() { var html5 = ("abbr,article,aside,audio,canvas,datalist,details," + "figure,footer,header,hgroup,mark,menu,meter,nav,output," + "progress,section,time,video").split(','); for (var i = 0; i < html5.length; i++) { document.createElement(html5[i]); } try { document.execCommand('BackgroundImageCache', false, true); } catch(e) {} })(); </script> <![endif]-->

If you want to know how to find your blog ID, go to your blogger like you were going to write a post. Look at the url and you’ll see “blogger.com/bloger.g?blogID=” after the equal sign you will see your blog ID. 


Mixed Content Errors

Because you’re moving from HTTP to HTTPS, you might get a mixed content error. To check if you have one, simply go to your blog’s homepage and press ctrl+ shift + J and a screen will pop up to the right of your blog letting you know if there are any errors. If you do have a mixed content error:

Find this code: <form expr:action=’data:blog.searchUrl’> and make sure you add .https right after “searchurl” so it will look like “searchurl.https’> 

quick tip: some themes don’t show that exact code, so I recommend searching for data:blog.searchurl when you press ctrl +f, because all of them should have that code. 

Also, if this doesn’t fix the problem, copy and paste your entire HTML code and put it into notepad. Notepad has this cool feature where you can change a specific thing very quickly. 

Copy and paste your entire HTML code into notepad and hover over “edit” and click replace. There you will ask notepad to replace all instances of  HTTP:// with HTTPS:// , After that is completed, copy and paste it into your edit HTML section, replacing the old code. Click save and view blog and refresh the page and you should see the beautiful green secure lock on your website!

 

Steps after your Success
After you have successfully done this, I recommend you go to your blogger dashboard and find the “Search Preference” settings. In the crawlers and indexing section, replace the current .txt file with this one. 

User-agent: Mediapartners-Google
Disallow:
User-agent: *
Disallow: /search
Allow: /
Sitemap: https://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml

Now save. After doing this, you need to resend your sitemap to Google because it is now HTTPS. In Google WebMaster add your site as a new property like this https://yourdomain.com. After you submit it and verify it through Google WebMaster, then submit this to your sitemap.XML  https://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml 

Conclusion 

If you have any questions about this or run into any problems, feel free to use the contact form or comment on this article and I will assist you the best I can. 

No Dick, No Discussion

Imagine having your opinion on a matter automatically invalidated because of your gender. Imagine if someone unironically thought you needed some type of “penis perception” to understand a problem.

Sure, experience can provide insights that someone may have not thought of, however, it seems absurd to say that because someone hasn’t gone through an experience that they’re incapable of coming to the right conclusion on the subject.

My gentalia doesn’t give me the in on the gnostic knowledge, so why then do some act like it does?

I’m talking about those who in all seriousness reject someone’s argument with “No Uterus, No Opinion”.

Of course, this is just sexist rhetoric, because if someone with a uterus came with the same opinion as the man, they would be accused of just trying to impress men or that they’re brainwashed by the patriarchy to be self-hating.

These radical idealogues seem to promote diversity everywhere, except intellectual diversity. If a black man doesn’t agree, he’s an Uncle Tom. If an Asian doesn’t agree, he’s an honorary white. The list goes on and on. Gender Gnosticism as James White so aptly named it, is the eternal shifting of the goal posts.

If we drop sexist litmus tests for discussions, we might reach a middle ground.

Shouting Your Abortion Until No One Listens

Regardless of your political affiliation, your idea of personhood, whether or not you view abortion as something that should be legal, I think we should call into question celebrating such a thing.

With the popularity of the social media hashtag “shout your abortion” came lots of responses, must of them could be rightly characterized as “I wouldn’t have been where I’m at in my career” or “I didn’t like the father.” (I’m not suggesting there aren’t any other reasons, but this seemed prevalent to me.)

In any case, what mindset would you have to adopt to view abortion as something to be proud of? Because even if I accept the pro-choicer’s presuppositions, I don’t see how it is something worthy of celebration. I am more sympathetic to the view that abortion is a necessary evil, that some people aren’t able to provide for their children and don’t want to bring them into a cruel world. Even though I disagree with their conclusion, I can resonate with that type of thinking because it’s realistic and doesn’t come across as inherently selfish.

But when you have people making a mockery out of it, that it was a “quick way to lose 10 pounds” and other social media edgelord type comments, I think even pro-choicers should see a problem with this type of rhetoric towards the unborn.

It is not as if all pro-choicers are against babies, I know with some arguing for us to stop having children to save the environment, countries aborting down syndrome babies to eliminate down syndrome and abortion by convenience policies throughout the world, It could seem that way to a pro-lifer.

With that said, I don’t assume that is the position of the random pro-choicer I encounter online or in person.  It is wise that you do not, putting words into people’s mouths is a sure way to have to them not listen to what you have to say.

Which is exactly what “shout your abortion” is. I question the rhetorical device used, it doesn’t seem to be an argument for why women should have complete bodily autonomy, even over other persons in her body (I realize personhood is part of the debate, however, let’s say for countries that approve late-term abortions.) Shouldn’t we be trying to convince each other? I’m sure to the women involved, “shout your abortion” feels empowering, because there is a stimga against women who have aborted, even those who have aborted and later have become pro-life deal with these issues. I’m not going to pretend the pro-life side is without sin, we’ve done an awful job at supporting single mothers or single fathers, we can come across as judgemental and mean, we are often too concerned with how right we are instead of meeting you where you are at and actually talking about this.

However, “shout your abortion” comes off as a victory lap for a race you never took part in. I think an apt analogy is when in conservation you have a disagreement and the other person says “I am now more proud/confident in my beliefs because you disagreed with me”.

You can shout your abortion in celebration, but what are you really celebrating? Perhaps you might say you are not celebrating the act of abortion itself but the rights given to women to have autonomy over their bodies. But again, this isn’t useful because we don’t believe it has to do with *your* autonomy when another person is involved. So we are stuck begging the question.

Even putting the personhood argument for aside for a moment, what is so empowering about telling strangers on social media that you don’t have a son or daughter? It comes across similar to someone who has no children and gloats about it on social media. “22 dollars for diapers? Ha! That’s why I didn’t have kids.” It just seems like pointless paristan posturing, rather than “standing up for women’s rights.”

Pro-Choice and Pro-Life both seem like misnomers. Pro-Lifers are not against choices and pro-choicers are not against life. On the pro-life side, generally speaking, we believe in the choice of using a condom, birth control, abstinence, etc. as methods for not having a child when you don’t want one or aren’t ready for one. We also support adoption and many wonderful people in the pro-life community are willing to adopt your babies and support you while you carry the baby to term.

Pro-Choicers don’t just abort every time they’re pregnant, I’ve met many pro-choicers who call themselves “personally pro-life” that is to say, they’d never abort, but think the state should maintain the right for women to be able to.

If we are to seek unity, it has to be honest. We are both humans who believe we are supporting what is right. That’s why shouting your abortion, much like shouting at someone in an argument, isn’t helpful.