According to the Bible, it’s not shrouded in mystery at all!
by Mark Looy, AiG–USA
February 14, 2006
One of the sidebar stories to the Winter Olympics in Torino (also known as Turin1), Italy, is the famous relic, the Shroud of Turin, which is stored in a cathedral in this northern Italian city. The 14-foot-long linen cloth is claimed to be the shroud that was used to wrap the body of Jesus Christ after His death on the Cross. It contains the image of a thin, bearded man.
While scholars go back and forth about the reliability of carbon-dating testing that might offer a date for the shroud and determine its authenticity, the most serious argument against the cloth’s genuineness comes from the most reliable of sources: the Bible.2
It is clear in the New Testament (viz., the book of John) that multiple pieces of cloth were used in burying Christ, not just one large sheet like the Shroud of Turin (John 19:40). In addition to that verse, the Scripture states in the very next chapter that Jesus was bound with linen strips (plural), not wrapped or cloaked with a single cloth (20:6). Lest there be any doubt about singular vs. plural cloths, verse 7 declares that there was a piece of cloth wrapped around Christ’s head; the Shroud, however, is a 14-foot-long sheet that covered an entire body.
Many well-intentioned Christians like to look for “facts” that can prove that the Bible is true. Instead, their first instinct should be to interpret evidence against what God’s Word says.3 As AiG–USA president Ken Ham recalled (see Kangaroos, dinosaurs, and Eden), there was a time when, after speaking at a teachers convention and declaring that facts and evidence do not necessarily speak for themselves, he was approached by a teacher who observed, “We want to find Noah’s Ark and the Ark of the Covenant, and hope the Shroud of Turin really is the shroud Jesus was wrapped in, because we are looking for ‘proofs’ that the Bible is true. However, what you have taught us is that ultimately we can’t ‘prove’ anything in relation to the past anyway, and once we accept what the Bible claims for itself, that it is the Word of God and thus build all of our thinking upon this, then we can consistently interpret the evidences around us and logically defend God’s Word. Wow—what a relief!”
Thus there really is no need for endless conferences on the Shroud that present scholarly papers year after year in an effort to defend the Shroud’s authenticity (and attempt to explain, among other things, how the blood on the cloth remains red when old, dry blood turns black). If these theological scholars and students of the Shroud were to simply read the authoritative Word of God, they would come to the realization that the Shroud is not authentic.
Whatever happened to academic freedom in America’s public schools?
Ohio caves in to evolutionists’ pressure
Commentary by Ken Ham and Mark Looy, AiG–USA
February 15, 2006
Evolutionary scientists throughout America are running scared. They see the inroads being made by creationists who have been educating the public about the bankruptcy of the molecules-to-man evolutionary belief system. Most recently, their alarm has been manifested in how many of them are attempting to intimidate school board members who have decided that students should be able to critically analyze evolution.
On the heels of a big “win” that secularists saw in Dover, Pennsylvania, late last year, where a federal judge ruled that students could not hear a short statement about intelligent design, some emboldened evolutionists raised the specter of court action in Ohio if the Ohio State Board of Education did not remove a guideline which indicated that science teachers were allowed to give “critical analysis” of evolution. (The Ohio standards did not mandate that intelligent design or biblical creation be taught in schools, though.)*
Yesterday, the state school board, meeting in Columbus, kowtowed to the evolutionist activists and effectively voted (11–4) to accept the dubious argument that somehow allowing evolution to be analyzed critically was the same as introducing intelligent design in the classroom. When Ohio Governor Bob Taft indicated a few days ago that over time he would be selecting new board members who would not be critical of evolution, the vote yesterday to remove the “critical analysis” of evolution guideline was not surprising.
Obviously, the secular humanists involved here and in other states don’t want students to even know that there is observational evidence in science that totally contradicts molecules-to-man evolution. Thus they exert legal pressure and even propose legislation (as is being discussed in Wisconsin) to give special protection to the teaching of evolutionary ideas in public schools.
From Dover to Columbus and now to … ?
First, it should be noted that the issue in Dover, Pennsylvania, last year had nothing to do with the teaching of intelligent design alongside evolution in biology classes. Rather, the Dover school board had simply instructed teachers to make a brief statement that mentioned intelligent design and recommended an ID book in the library. By attempting to apply the Dover decision to other states, and in seeing this recent success in Ohio, evolutionists will now be more determined than ever to pressure school board members in Kansas and other states where evolution is being challenged as fact in schools. Advocates of intelligent design thus have many more challenges in front of them now.
Second, we need to point out that while the judge in Dover ruled that intelligent design is “religion masquerading as science,” and thus it violated “separation of church and state,” when God and creation are eliminated from the science classroom, religion has not been taken out of the curriculum. If students in public schools are being taught that the origin of the universe, life, human beings, etc., can all be explained on the basis of natural processes, these young people are being taught the religion of naturalism—of atheism!
The more that public school systems indoctrinate generations of students in an atheistic philosophy concerning the origin of life, the more we should expect to see moral relativism pervading the culture. After all, if we are just the products of random, natural processes, then no one owns us—we own ourselves—and therefore we can do whatever is “right” for us.
Sadly, the moral state of America is by and large a consequence of a secular education system that has secularized the nation—and that has secularized many in the church who have stood by and allowed (and sometimes supported) this to happen.
It’s all in the definition
Just before Ohio’s school board voted, one board member told the Columbus Dispatch newspaper that while she called herself a creationist, she believed that science (not religion) should be taught in science classes. Now, who declared that the definition of “science” must not include God (or creation)? This is an arbitrary definition created by secularists (and condoned by many religious people) who have decided among themselves that “science” can’t include God.
So many people (including many professed Christians) are now capitulating to this arbitrary definition, one that has been formulated to eliminate Christianity from the public schools and replace it with the religion of atheism. People need to wake up to the fact they are letting the secularists turn the public schools into veritable churches of humanism.
America needs strong people who will stand up to this kind of intimidation that toils under the guise of “science”—which is actually a front for evolutionary, secular humanists who want to impose their anti-God religion on the entire culture.
A nation that prides itself on academic freedom really does not have much of that freedom when a controversial topic like evolution cannot be critically examined in the public education system. What is so unfair about pointing out the scientific problems with evolution theory, especially if no religious belief (or the Bible) is used to challenge it? America needs to wake up to this growing form of academic tyranny.
Dr. Georgia Purdom, an adjunct writer and speaker for AiG–USA (who will join AiG full time in June when she finishes a teaching assignment at a central Ohio university), has been closely watching these curriculum developments in Ohio over the years. She remarked: “I am disappointed but not surprised by the decision made by the OBE [Ohio Board of Education] concerning the lesson plan on the critical analysis of evolution. As a college biology professor, I cannot fathom asking my students not to critically analyze what I am teaching them. It is a crucial part of the learning process. Unfortunately for Ohio’s public school students, they are being told evolution is fact and so there is no point in questioning it.”
While AiG is not an activist organization in the sense that we are not directly involved in lobbying, legislating or litigating to influence school boards on origins issues, our grassroots approach of seeing communities and churches impacted (e.g., through major regional conferences, sometimes involving hundreds of churches in an area) will often rouse local Christians to run for local and state school boards and thus influence the way science should be taught in their public schools. Why not talk to your church leadership about hosting a regional AiG family conference or have our daily radio program aired on more stations in your state? Let’s reclaim the nation one community at a time—and one school board at a time—for biblical truths, through a massive grassroots campaign.
AiG–USA acquires God’s Design science curriculum
February 15, 2006
A complete curriculum for grades 1 through 8 in life science, earth science, physical science and chemistry will now see a larger distribution network through an exclusive publishing agreement between the authors of the God’s Design science series and Answers in Genesis–USA.
Written by veteran homeschooling parents Richard and Debbie Lawrence, this curriculum approaches science from a biblical worldview, emphasizing God’s handiwork in the world and showing how real science supports the biblical account of creation.
According to Ken Ham, “This is an exciting opportunity for AiG–USA to have a part in influencing the Christian school and homeschool movement with a biblically based curriculum that is ardently creationist.”
These comprehensive textbooks include short, easy-to-teach lessons that allow parents the flexibility to work with multiple ages at the same time.
What started out as frustration for Debbie Lawrence as she tried to find a biblically based science curriculum for their own children (both Debbie and Richard are trained as electrical engineers) soon became the genesis of the God’s Design series. That was in 1999.
Debbie said that it was through her frustration that she realized there must be other people who feel the same way. So, to market they went. Their first book focused on God’s design for life and was published in 2001. In addition to three life science books, the complete series also includes eight additional texts, covering God’s Design for Heaven and Earth, God’s Design for Chemistry and God’s Design for the Physical World.
These science books (now 11 in all) have received outstanding reviews from educators and homeschoolers alike. Many users share that the kid-friendly, hands-on activity in each lesson makes science not only interesting, but fun as well.
When the Lawrences sent their curriculum to AiG–USA in hopes of an endorsement, God answered their prayers in a big way. Not only do we endorse it—we offered a unique publishing arrangement that includes making the series an official AiG–USA product and upgrading it in the months to come.
“We are very thankful that God brought the God’s Design curriculum to our attention,” said Dale Mason, Vice President of Marketing & Media at Answers in Genesis–USA. After searching for a science series that stays true to the Genesis account and is not biased by the beliefs of secular scientists, Mason stated that “it was obvious that this is a solid product with huge potential.”
As exclusive publisher, AiG–USA will honor and expand the Lawrence’s existing distribution network. AiG–USA will also promote the series via its hundreds of annual speaking events, daily radio program, quarterly magazine, website and its newsletter that is mailed to over 80,000 homes each month. “This is a win-win relationship,” declared Mason. “We’re delighted to be able to take the Lawrence’s high-quality content to the next level.”
Authors Debbie and Richard Lawrence were thrilled to be approached by Answers in Genesis—an organization that they greatly respect—to help more parents teach their children how to stand up for their faith and develop a solid, biblical worldview. Now, together with AiG, they share a common passion to teach children the wonders of God’s creation.