Another Endorsement?

I suppose technically, it could not be an endorsement, since the author died 82 years before my book was written. I don’t think Chesterton was prescient enough to know that I would write my book.I think it more likely that, proceeding from a traditionally Christian understanding, we come to similar conclusions – and I have likely been influenced by his work.  I have listened to an audiobook of Eugenics and Other Evils. It is quite good. Chesterton doesn’t make the distinction between science and Scientism, because that distinction was not generally recognized until much later.

Ironically, the pope would speak out in 1950 on Evolution, claiming that there is no conflict between Evolution and Roman Catholic teaching. In an attempt to avoid another Galileo incident, the pontiff gave away the farm. The baby was thrown out with the bathwater. From Chesterton’s quote, it would seem he would disagree with modern Rome’s assessment. I do sometimes wonder if Chesterton would be as welcome in the Roman church post-Vatican 2.

Anyway, here is a quote from a Traditionalist Roman Catholic, pre-Vatican 2, about the dangers of Evolution. Sadly, we don’t see this sort of understanding very often in Roman Catholic circles today. But there is a growing movement in Lutheranism to speak on these issues. For that I am grateful.

The thing that really is trying to tyrannise through government is Science. The thing that really does use the secular arm is Science. And the creed that really is levying tithes and capturing schools, the creed that really is enforced by fine and imprisonment, the creed that really is proclaimed not in sermons but in statutes, and spread not by pilgrims but by policemen—that creed is the great but disputed system of thought which began with Evolution and has ended in Eugenics. Materialism is really our established Church; for the Government will really help it to persecute its heretics.

And of course, if you haven’t bought my book yet, there is no time like the present. It’s available  for Kindle at Amazon or in paperback at Lulu. And through Monday, Lulu is offering free shipping and 10% off. Just use the code SHIPIT18.

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If the Foundation is Destroyed

Every time there is a new atrocity in the news, there are calls for reform. Reform security measures. Reform gun laws. Reform the mental health system. Even if politicians had the courage to attempt any one of those, they would be like a surgeon using a band aid to close after open heart surgery. We have major problems, and these are all small symptom solutions.

“No other country has these things happen” we are told. If we only did what they did, this wouldn’t be a problem. The Swiss require everyone to own a gun. The British ban guns. Which should we choose? Security: do we want an Israeli model, or a Swedish one? The problem is not the need to adopt this or that law. Rather, we continue to insist black is white and up is down, and then wonder why our society can neither see clearly nor keep its balance.

My kids have attended public school at various times. I’ve been to the classes. I’ve seen what is taught. I’ve seen security theatre added at great expense to the school buildings. The problem is not with education, or security. Our nation is in a state of deep spiritual crisis. Policy changes around the edges will not fix it. And if anyone identifies the real problem, they are safely ignored because they are just a religious fundamentalist. Count me as one of those people.

The problem is evolution. Click to more rational websites if you want. Or maybe, hear me out.

Evolution teaches we are nothing more than cosmic accident. Survival of the fittest and all. In a Darwinist/Marxian society, government becomes oppressively communist. The people (who are weak) rise up against the leaders who are strong. They do this in order to survive we are told. But then, the oppressed become the oppressors. Millions perish. The twentieth century was the laboratory in which Darwinist/Marxian philosophy was applied to government. A few holdouts remain, but by and large, those systems fell after about 70 years. The Berlin Wall has now been down for longer than it was up.

Communism failed because it believed life was always a struggle against the elements, and against other people. Only the strong survive. And the strong always oppress the weak. The communists, once they were strong, oppressed the weak, until the weak finally rose up and overthrew them. They were victims of there own success. Recently, news stories have emerged about the communist authorities planned slaughter of their own people as the wall came down. It was the peaceful influence of the church that saved them. Since that time, life in former iron curtain nations has adopted many western reforms.

But Darwinism has another form. It still assumes there is no higher purpose in life than survival. But in a land of plenty, once you have enough to survive, you may as well just enjoy what you have while you can. Instead of life being nasty, brutish, and short, life is comfortable, pleasurable, and long. But it is just as meaningless. The United States escaped the horrors of communism, and instead turned to the horrors of hedonism.

Anything is possible. Don’t like the body you were given? Alter it – with hormone injections and surgery if necessary. Don’t like what reality throws at you? Alter it with medications. There are enough legal ones to bend reality (as long as you have health insurance) that the wealthy don’t need to turn to the illegal ones (especially in California or Colorado). Pregnant but don’t want to be? There is a solution, and it only requires us to turn away while a weaker, less fit human is dismembered and discarded. Don’t like your husband, wife, children, etc.? Walk away, start over somewhere else with someone more desirable. There is only the appetite.

But there is a cost for all of this disorder.

We teach children life has no purpose. No higher calling. Sacrifice is for the weak. And death is for the less fit. This is the philosophy which goes along with atheistic evolution as it is taught in our schools. I have seen students in biology classes as the teacher tells them life is purposeless. Their slumped shoulders and dead eyes are the stuff of nightmares. I wanted to stand up and scream, “Who are you to tell these children – full of the vigor of youth –their lives are meaningless!” Child abuse comes in many forms. But rarely has there been such a widespread and systemic attempt to perpetrate the abuse. It is not just the biology classes which act as stand ins for theology. And it is not just at the high schools. I have seen the policies enacted and the doctrines taught beginning in kindergarten.

The strong survive. They rise to the top. The less fit are merely grist for their mill. In the past we did not need anti-bullying programs. Those who stepped out of line were disciplined. Now, the strong protect their territory. They take it from the weak. Anti-bullying programs might have good points. But “less bullying” is not one of them. The children have learned their theology well. The strong survive. The weak are less fit. Take what you can.

By middle school, the course is set. Those who are leaders are encouraged to continue their bullying in a thousand small ways. Those who want to learn in school, to explore the world around them with the wonder of youth are told to sit down, keep quiet, fill out the requisite forms. In Florida, news reports have surfaced of a girl who was arrested, after her classmates threatened her if she didn’t put a note under the vice-principals door in which she threatened a massacre. Bullies take note – you can even get your victims arrested if you do things properly. When students complain they are being bullied, they are sent to the counselor. A teacher talks to the bully, suggesting he make better choices. But his choices have landed him on top. That is all there is. Why would he change? The behavior continues and intensifies.

Do what you want, as long as you can get away with it. Follow your dreams. You may as well, because death will claim you anyway. Eat, drink, be merry today; tomorrow we may die. And there is nothing beyond. No higher purpose. No deeper meaning. Nothing to which we should aspire as individuals, as a community, as a nation.

For three generations we have been indoctrinating our children with this theology of pointlessness. And they have learned. Anyone who objects is a religious nut, unfit for polite society. Professors who question it are banned. Pastors who crusade against it are politely ignored and laughed at. We are heading over an evolutionary cliff. But we are having such a pleasurable time riding along, no one wants to hit the brakes.

You can undermine a foundation for a time. The building looks just as it always has. But eventually the building collapses. It can be quite sudden. Historically, our nation is showing all the signs of late stage decay. The building may stand for a while more. But increasing polarization, a drugged up populace, laws enforced against citizens but not against the royals, mass atrocities, the decay of the family, the continuing insistence on abortion, the denial of such basic truths as male and female – no society in history has long endured with this many symptoms of disease.

They all trace back to the origin. If we are nothing more than cosmic accident, if life has no purpose except to survive and enjoy it while we can, then do what you can get away with. No one can tell you not to. There is no morality. There is nothing worth dying for, but there is also nothing worth living for.

It’s a bleak existence. For 90 years (since Scopes v. Tennesssee) religious folk have been laughed at for criticizing evolution.  That’s a little bit longer than the iron curtain lasted. For 50 years (Epperson v. Arkansas) the Supreme Court has required that evolution be taught in the schools. That’s a few years less than the iron curtain. We might make it a few years more. But the foundations are badly crumbling. We can adopt new procedures, new laws for this or that. But until we admit the foundational truth that evolution is destroying us as a people, we are just preparing spackle for the eventual ruins.

 

Lincoln Winter is the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Wheatland WY. He enjoys hunting and hiking through God’s great creation. He recently published “Evolution: A Defense Against” (also available on Kindle). He blogs as the Country Parson at predigtamt.wordpress.com.

 

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Evolution: A Defense Against on Kindle!

If you were waiting for the Kindle edition of Evolution: A Defense Against, the wait is over! It is live and ready for download at Amazon. 

 

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Book Tour Continues!

I was interviewed by Pr. Evan Goeglein for his radio show in Oregon, Once for All. The topic was (no surprise) Evolution. You can listen here. 

And of course, you can purchase the book Evolution: A Defense Against for only $10 over at Lulu.

Pictured at right: A man with a voice that was made for radio. And a face to match.

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Sermon for Ash Wednesday

Today we turn away from our rejoicing. We put away our most festive words. We who are nothing but dust and ashes, return to our own. We receive the mark of death. And so we begin the season of repentance. Six weeks between now and the cross. Beginning in ashes, we are more earnest in prayer, more focused on the Word of God, more intent on hearing and learning that word. We begin with our own mortality. We end with the death of God himself. We don’t do this to earn some merit before God. We don’t do it because entrance into heaven depends on us performing the right rituals in the right way on the right days. Rather, we do this because of the Word of the Lord that promises ” he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;” It’s a phrase that shows up 9 times in the Old testament. The books of Moses. The Psalms. The prophets. They all use it. It’s one of the most common ways of describing the Lord. Jonah even uses it as an accusation against God, when God spares the hated Ninevites from destruction. God wants to show them mercy. That’s the theme throughout the psalms we recite tonight, as well as the Old Testament reading. Don’t think the Old Testament tells of judgment and the New of forgiveness. The mercy and love of God drips from the pages of the Old Testament like honey from the comb. The Old Testament points to – and more than that, drives us to – our Savior Jesus Christ. If not for that steadfast love, shown in the birth, life, death, and resurrection Jesus, there is no point to  the repentance, the ashes, the fasting, and almsgiving, the prayer. We may as well go on our merry way and enjoy things while we can, before the day of reckoning arrives.

Most of the world does just that. They have no regard for the Lord and his word. Even in the church, there are many who are too busy to pray with the Lord one little hour. That he continues to put up with us, despite our constant sin, that he does not strike us down like he did the rebellious Israelites in the desert with serpents, or the earth opening to swallow, or a plague – that he does not smite us in this way, despite every intention of our sinful flesh being always for evil continually – that he does not bring judgement against us the moment we sin, is testimony to his great love and mercy, not to our great faithfulness in repenting of our sin. We are saved not for the sake of our actions, our bending low, our sitting in dust and ashes. We are saved for the sake of the son, who bore our sins on the cross, who gave himself into death so that we would be saved.

We daily sin much, and surely deserve nothing but punishment. And yet our Lord, in his mercy, continually forgives us our sin. He does not rebuke us in his anger, he does not chasten in his wrath, he patiently instructs us. Disciplining us so that we would repent of our sin, turn to him, and be saved. He could, by all rights, condemn us to the fires of hell the moment we are conceived, the instant we are born. He could consign us to flames of woe at any moment. But he does not. Because he is abounding in steadfast love.

The season of Holy Lent originally began as a time of instruction in the faith for those preparing to be Baptized. It goes back to the earliest days of the church. Intensive instruction, leading to Baptism right before the Easter festival. As more people joined the church, they ran out of adults to Baptize. The church shifted her efforts from teaching and baptizing adults, to baptizing and teaching children. The extra services and extra instruction continued during the season of Lent – as a way of hearing again of the cross and passion of our Lord. Testing and temptation are the themes of Lent. 40 days of Lent – just as 40 days of rain in the days of Noah, 40 years in the wilderness in the days of Moses, 40 days in the desert for Jesus. A time of purification, of testing, a time for the people of God to consider our own actions in light of the ten commandments. To hear more of God’s Word regarding our sin, and the mercy he shows through his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

That’s why we are here – not because we think we can earn something from our appearance this evening. We don’t receive the sign of the ash because we want credit for having come to church. We do this to remind ourselves of our own sin, of our own mortality – we are reminded that we deserve such mortality. Death is our enemy, but it is one we have sought out, we have embraced by our sin. We can’t blame God for our sin. That is our own doing. And so also the wages of sin, death. Tonight we consider our many sins, and recognize that from infant to aged, we are all deserving of death. Because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

And yet, by the grace and mercy of God, he offers forgiveness to those who repent of their sin. Those who turn from their sin, and turn to him. The word repent means to turn away. God would not have the sinner die, and so he sent his son Jesus Christ to die for us. And because of the work of Jesus on the cross for us, the penalty and condemnation for our sin is taken away. Yes, we are marked with the sign of dust and ashes this evening. But that dust and ash is in the shape of the cross. That is the mark that was made on us in Holy Baptism. And the mark of Baptism, the water that was poured, so that we were joined to Christ’s death, marked as one redeemed by Christ the crucified – that mark is not washed or brushed away from the forehead. That is an eternal mark. It is the assurance of salvation for all who believe.

And in this time of Lent, we are reminded that this is a time of grace and mercy. A time to repent and receive the forgiveness promised by God to all those who believe in his name. The dust will be wiped off later this evening. Some day we return to the dust. But the mark of the cross given in the water at the font will not be wiped away. And even when we are dust and ashes again, that mark will suffice to save you from your sin, save you from the judgement. For the sake of Jesus Christ, your savior. Amen.

***

I almost added a bit at the end about the resurrection – after all, lots of people get crucified, but only Jesus was raised from the dead afterwards. But then I didn’t. I ended with the redemption, with us as dust and ashes, but redeemed by God, and joined to Christ.
If it wasn’t Ash Wednesday, I would never have done that. But on the day of dust and ashes, ending by saying that our Baptismal cross overcomes the dust and ashes seemed sufficient. The resurrection was in view, but rather quietly.
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Another Endorsement

I have another endorsement for Evolution: A Defense Against. This one is from another local pastor friend, who also spent years working in the sciences. His degree is in evolutionary biology.

When it comes to sacred cows in science, evolution is the most sacred. This fact is demonstrated by how urgently it is defended and how blindly it is followed by its practitioners, despite the hard evidence against evolutionary theory. No person, especially a non-scientist person, is allowed to criticize or contradict evolutionary findings. Thus, neo-Darwinism is no longer science, it is scientism, the worship of science as religion. What Rev. Winter does in his well-researched book is to uncover the fallacies, falsehoods, and false assumptions that surround evolutionary “science.” He summarizes all the arguments against evolution and successfully knocks it off its pedestal as a sacred cow, and does so in a way that laypeople can easily understand. I cannot recommend this book more highly for anyone who desires a fuller understanding of the evidence against biological evolution.

Rev. Darrell Debowey
Pastor, Zion Lutheran Church, Laramie, Wyoming
Master of Divinity, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Mast of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

If you’d like to order Evolution: A Defense Against, it’s available at Lulu. (Kindle is coming, I promise!)

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Endorsement for Evolution: A Defense Against

I’m not a rocket surgeon. I’ve never even played one on TV. So, me writing a book about Evolution, which is science, may seem odd – a little like a fish that takes up woodcarving.

But I have run it by some science guys. Not Bill Nye, who is a guy, but not a science guy. A friend of mine, who is a pastor, was a nuclear geologist for a number of years. He has a masters degree in nuclear geology, as well as theology. And he gave me a masters class in speaking clearly and scientifically.

He not only reviewed the book for me, he gave me the following endorsement:

The debate concerning the current tension between Christian faith and evolutionary ideology rages on. Notice, I did not say science. Christianity has always been amenable and supportive of true science, the pursuit of truth in the real world. Evolution: A Defense Against is not your typical book of argumentation levied against evolution. Instead, it challenges the foundational assumptions upon which evolutionary ideology is established with a simple question, “Is this true?” Rev. Winter has performed a noble service for anyone who seeks to know the truth. A careful reading of Evolution: A Defense Against is time wisely spent.

Kenneth Mars; B.S. Geology, Texas Tech University 1994; M.S. Geology Texas Tech, 1996; (Master’s Thesis: Mineralogy of the Playa Clays at the Pantex Plant, Amarillo, Texas); Uranium production geologist, Rio Algom Mining Corp. Smith Ranch Facility northeast of Casper, WY;  1996-2001

If that sounds like something you’d like, click here to go to Lulu, where you can purchase it. It’s only $10.

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