The Creation/Evolution debate is a subject which is not only vital for the Church in the 21st Century but is coming increasingly to the fore even in scientific circles as more and more “honest” scientists and evolutionists are being faced with the facts of evolution’s inadequacy to explain the origin of the universe and of all animate life within it.
Let me begin by reminding you of the well-known words of Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. This often memorized opening verse of the Book of Genesis has been the answer, from the beginning of recorded history until recent times, to man’s question “How did the cosmos begin?” But today, in an age of skepticism and unbelief which has inherited the rationalistic criticism of the Bible from way back in the nineteenth century along with the so-called “indubitable findings” of modern science, can we say that statement is still relevant in this computer space-age? Is this a valid and believable account of our origins?
Theodore Beza, Calvin’s close friend and successor in Geneva, was the quintessence of French politeness. He was the best fitted of all the Reformers to stand and defend Protestantism before the King and Queen of France. He was not only a Christian gentleman, he was also one of the most learned scholars of his day. And, he was the last of the 16th century Reformers, living more than a quarter of a century after the others had died.
Beza was born in Vezelay, France on June 24, 1519. He went to school at Orleans and studied under Melchior Wolmar who had such an impact on Calvin ten years earlier. Now he was the teacher of the boy who would be Calvin’s successor. Wolmar influenced Beza to read the Bible, thus preparing him for Protestantism and the Reformed Faith. Beza was not converted immediately, but Wolmar’s influence never left him, keeping him from becoming a man of loose morals, as were most young French gentlemen. Wolmar was to Beza what Wyttenbach was to Zwingli.
The traditional family has been under attack in Canada and other Western countries for years. One of the main opponents of the traditional family has been, and continues to be, the feminist movement. Feminists want women to be “equal” with men in basically every area of society. In their view, whenever women are not represented in a particular job or activity in the same proportion as men, discrimination must be taking place. For example, the fact that most police officers, firefighters, and soldiers are men is clear evidence of discrimination against women. The Canadian Armed Forces, which has apparently fallen for this ideological nonsense, is working particularly hard to recruit women to correct the imbalance.
One of the major obstacles to the feminist agenda is the biological difference between men and women. This is most obvious in the area of reproduction: women bear children and men don’t. To the feminists, this gives men an “unfair” advantage because men can pursue their careers without interruptions for pregnancy and the care of young children. The feminists are therefore strong advocates of daycare; that is, they want women to drop their children off at daycare centers each day so these mothers will be able to pursue their careers unhindered by their children.
John Flavel’s statement surprised me, not like someone slipping up behind me, but like a spotlight illuminating a brilliant truth.
These words were written by one of “the most noteworthy of the later Puritans,” John Flavel [1628-1691], an English clergyman. He obviously believed the Bible to be the practical and mighty defense against temptation that it is. He was said to be the “physician of souls.”3 His works are filled with short and interesting narratives, rich in simplicity and ingenious comparisons. Even today Flavel’s writings win our hearts by their warm, personal kindness.
Things that cause us to suffer are for the most part recognizable, whereas temptations easily escape our notice. Satan, the Arch Deceiver, masquerades himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). He often catches us off guard by piggy-backing our sufferings with ensnaring temptations when we are already wounded. As Job grieved the sudden death of his children and loss of his property, Satan compounded his sufferings by using his “helpful” wife to tempt him. Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die! (Job 2:9)