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April 2, 2003

The End Game

The hypocrisy of the regime of Saddam Hussein is dazzling. Their ability to stand before television cameras and accuse the allied forces of deliberately targeting civilians inspires a perverse kind of awe. One would have to go back to the propaganda machine of the 3rd Reich to find such a gang of bald faced liars. But there is a method in their madness just as their was in Hitler’s.

Several things keep nagging at the back of my mind as I watch the coverage of this war. One obvious conclusion is that the inclusion of imbedded journalists was a brilliant stroke. It has presented for the entire civilized world to see the evidence that no army in history has been so careful of civilian casualties as the allied forces in this war. There are dead soldiers and marines who would be alive today if they had not been so careful of other lives.

Connected to this is the question of a motive. Is this pure insanity, a manifestation of unmitigated evil, destruction for no other reason than destruction itself? Or are the players in this drama hoping for a different conclusion than the one inexorably bearing down on them? I was pondering the question of Iraqi air power and why it had been completely absent in this war. The domination of air power unchallenged has left the outcome of the war in no doubt at all. But it isn’t just that they haven’t fought. They have tried once again to save their planes by hiding them (one was found and destroyed in a cemetery). Why bother unless you hope someday to be able to use them again? And why send a column of trucks to attack the third infantry division only to have it completely destroyed killing hundreds of your troops when it had no hope of changing anything?

I suspect that all this has a connection with an obvious attempt by the Baghdad regime to increase civilian casualties. I suspect that they are hoping for a negotiated settlement to this war. The scenario would go something like this. Pictures of civilian casualties in the world press finally cause France, Germany and Russia to go to the UN and demand a cease fire. Negotiations would then begin to bring an end to the conflict, much as they did for Korea, Vietnam and, more important, the Gulf War. Negotiations would drag on for months. Concessions would be made, American troops would withdraw, UN inspectors would return, and Saddam Hussein and his murderous gang of thugs would remain in power. And the Iraqi people would once again be subject to arrest, torture and death at the hands of this nexus of evil.

This is not an entirely original idea with me. I heard a talking head on television early in the conflict suggest that Saddam hoped that France and the UN would save him. But events appear to be bearing this out.

That said, Saddam may have made a fatal miscalculation. The French, with all the intentions in the world of saving his worthless hide, may have made the cease fire gambit impossible. Consider this. If, when Tony Blair asked for a UN resolution authorizing military force to disarm Iraq, the French had sat on their hands and kept their mouth shut; if they had abstained instead threatening a veto and had refrained from trying to defeat the motion, if they had let the resolution go through, the picture today would be entirely different.

What would have been different is that, like Gulf War I, this would have been a UN operation. A UN resolution demanding a cease fire would have had to be respected. France could now introduce such a motion, and put the allies in an untenable position if they vetoed it.

But now, this is not a UN operation even though it has been taken under the authority of resolution 1441. France saw to that by the threatened veto of the British resolution. Should they now introduce a cease fire resolution, the US and GB could veto it with the same moral authority France threatened an earlier veto.

And if you can believe the administration, nothing will achieve a cease fire short of unconditional surrender. It is now hard to see any other outcome. Saddam’s desperate attempt to kill civilians becomes all the more tragic because it is so pointless. I have come to the place where I don’t even care whether they find any weapons of mass destruction. Destroying this evil regime is all the cause needed to call this a just war.

But don't think the attempt at a cease fire won't be made. It will be an interesting few days at the UN when and if it is.

Drugs, a Moment of Truth

The government has ended my favorite set of anti-drug ads. You know, the one where the ghost of a little girl appears to a drug taker and says, "You killed me." Or the ones with two guys talking over lunch, one trying to justify his recreational use of drugs, the other reminding him that his drug money was supporting terrorism? I thought they were powerful ads.

Turns out I was wrong. The Government ended the program because it wasn’t working. And I said to myself, "Of course. Drugs are the ultimate act of selfishness." People who take drugs could care less about their effect on others. Appealing to reason is futile because reason has nothing to do with it. It is only a matter of feeling good.

But the ads were true, nonetheless, and there’s the heartbreak.

April 3, 2003

An enormous amount of information can be found on the Internet, some good, more that is not so good. But once in a while something crops up that can't be ignored. This one showed up in my E-mail from a friend who thought I should read it. I googled up the original piece and it turned up on a forum by an blogger who calls himself "Cicero."  No matter, the analysis speaks for itself. It is titled, "The Case for War," and looks much further ahead than the current war. I can't post a clip from it. It is too deep for that. You have to read it to see what I mean, but it is worth your time.

Cicero cites another work by Ralph Peters (1998) as the basis for his analysis. Titled "Spotting the Losers: Seven Signs of Non-Competitive States," It appears in Parameters, Spring 1998. The seven failure factors for nations or societies are:

  • Restrictions on the free flow of information.
  • The subjugation of women.
  • Inability to accept responsibility for individual or collective failure.
  • The extended family or clan as the basic unit of social organization.
  • Domination by a restrictive religion.
  • A low valuation of education.
  • Low prestige assigned to work.

Each of these factors is discussed in great depth. Be sure and read this piece. It has everything to do with your future and the future of your children. I am profoundly pleased to know that this kind of thinker is at work.

Monty Python with Real Blood

This morning, I was treated to what must be the most bizarre television image in the history of television. The Iraqi Information Minister was on screen denying that the American’s were anywhere near Baghdad. "It is all an illusion," he said. But he was on half of a split screen. The other half was a live picture from an imbedded journalist with the 3rd Infantry Division who was driving down a freeway into the outskirts of the city. It was like a surreal Monty Python sketch with a man, not merely in denial, but denying facts staring him and everyone else in the face. Only this time, the deaths and the blood are real.

April 7, 2003


Just as I make my prediction, see below, early reports this evening suggest they have bombed a house with repeated and massive ordinance. According to multiple intelligence sources there was "significant leadership" in the house. In other words, they may have killed Saddam or at least another of his body doubles today. The best indicator may (or may not) be the Iraqi information minister.

In Denial

Perhaps the strangest image of this war is the image of the Iraqi Information Minister. One has wonder what on earth goes on around the conference table when Saddam (if he is still calling the shots) tells this man to go out there, keep a straight face, and tell those reporters that the American 3rd Infantry division is not in Baghdad. Today, there were US tanks and Bradleys no more than one hundred yards from where he was standing and he was denying that they were there.

In a perverse sort of way, he is the best proof that Saddam is still alive. It takes a megalomaniac to bunker up like he has, deny the presence of the enemies and issue orders to non-existent troops. He is crazy, but he is so very dangerous that the poor information minister has no choice but to go out there and lie to the press. Nothing else makes any sense. Any other scenario and the government would long since have changed in to civvies and blended into the population.

So, tonight, I am putting my money on Saddam still being alive. Crazy, wounded, dangerous but still alive. I hope he is. I heard a radio talk show host say that she hoped he was dead because she didn’t want to have to go through the trial with all the nasty business that will come out. But it is for exactly that reason that I hope he is alive. The best place for the world to face up to what existed in Iraq under this evil man is in court. There you will have judicial procedures and sworn witnesses. The world needed the trials at Nuremberg, and it needs these as well.


Galatians 2 is now up in Reflections.

April 8, 2003

The Roots of Islamo-Fascism

Andrew Sullivan observes an awakening in the American left to the importance of the war. While the lunatic fringe oppose the war and openly support Saddam, not a few intellectuals on the left realize what is at stake:

This fusion of totalitarian politics and the methods of terror were imports from the West, Berman shows, from the nihilists of the late nineteenth century, and the fascists and Stalinists of the twentieth. Who is Saddam, after all, but another Mussolini or Hitler, reborn in Islamic guise? Look at the personality cult, the secret police, the mass murders, the purges, the vast and inhuman wars, the scapegoating of the Jews, the vicious genocide against the Kurds (whose only crime was not to be Arabs). This kind of regime was invented not in Mesopotamia but in Europe. Likewise, the roots of Islamism - in the early years of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood - are also directly linked to the fascist movements in twentieth century Europe. A man like bin Laden is a classic Western figure, educated in the West, with a vast fortune built on Western oil trade, and methods that have far more to do with Stalin than with Islamic tradition.

I don't know who coined the phrase "Islamo-Fascism," but it is a singularly descriptive term for what has emerged among Islamic peoples. And it is curiously resonant with the following piece, also picked up from Sullivan's site. Does any of this connect to the very strange support of Saddam from France, Germany and Russia?

Jailed Children Freed

One Strange thing after another. Now about 150 children have been freed from Saddam's prisons. Why were they in jail? Because they wouldn't join the youth branch of the Baath Party. It is almost as though the demons of the Third Reich have been reincarnated in Saddam's Baath Party.

Guest Book

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I Never Thought I’d See the Day

The Royal Navy has switched off the BBC coverage on their flagship in the Iraq war, according to Ananova news service. The Ark Royal is one of the grand old names of the Senior Service. The BBC, with a long and distinguished record in broadcasting, is now seen by men on the scene as a dishonest reporter of the news.

The Navy says it has switched off News 24 aboard HMS Ark Royal after complaints by the crew. It is one of a handful of task force ships which receives live TV direct from Britain. Rolling news plus two entertainment channels are beamed into the warship. A BBC correspondent has been on board but the crew say they have no gripe with his reports. However they were annoyed by the comments of presenters and commentators reporting on the carrier's Sea King tragedy a fortnight ago...Sailors also believe the news organisation places more faith in Iraqi reports than information coming from British or Allied sources. One senior rating said: "The BBC always takes the Iraqis' side. It reports what they say as gospel but when it comes to us it questions and doubts everything the British and Americans are reporting. A lot of people on board are very unhappy." Ark has replaced the BBC with rival broadcaster Sky News.

Apart from the dead and wounded, another casualty of this war has been the idea of objective journalism. I doubt it is deliberate, but it is surely symbolic that today, a shot was fired into the hotel where most of the journalists are staying and a rocket destroyed the offices of Al Jazeera.

April 9, 2003

The Fall

Something truly profound happened today. It wasn’t just the fall of Baghdad. The war is far from over, and we could easily suffer more losses in the weeks ahead than we have so far. What happened was the entire Arab world received a major dose of reality–perhaps even disillusionment. Donna Abu-Nasr, writing for the Associated Press today noted that, "The fall of Baghdad provoked shock and disbelief Wednesday among Arabs, who expressed hope that other oppressive regimes would crumble but also disappointment that Saddam Hussein did not put up a better fight against America."

Several things seem obvious from her account. One, Al Jazeera has been totally discredited. (So has the BBC according to some accounts.) Two, even the Arabs who are glad to see Saddam go are embarrassed, even shamed by the failure of the Iraqi regime to put up a good fight. They would have liked to see America at least get a bloody nose in the conflict. Three, other leaders of Islamic regimes are worried. The Saudi foreign minister is very uncomfortable having so much American presence in the region, especially with the deteriorated relationship with the US. He can’t be happy about the liberation of Iraqi oil, forget the Iraqi people.

One quote about Al-Jazeera:

"We discovered that all what the (Iraqi) information minister was saying was all lies," said Ali Hassan, a government employee in Cairo, Egypt. "Now no one believes Al-Jazeera anymore."

April 11, 2003

The Horns of a Dilemma

In generations to come, when a teacher wants to explain to students the meaning of "the horns of a dilemma, they can have them read a confession from Eason Jordan, chief news executive at CNN. Writing in the New York Times, he released at last, "The News We Kept to Ourselves." It is a heart breaking story and I have little doubt it has troubled Mr. Jordan’s sleep for a long time. Now that the regime is dead, he can tell us the truth.

I find it hard to criticize him or CNN for not reporting this. At a personal, human level, it was about all they could do. I will confess that had I been in his shoes, I might very well have done the same thing. That said, it has provoked a flurry of thoughts in my own heart and mind that need to be considered.

First, Saddam succeeded at moral blackmail and intimidated one the world’s great news sources. CNN may not be number one in the United States, but its spread around the world may be unrivaled. They did not, however good their reasons, tell the world the whole truth. They now have an obligation to rectify that. What they did saved the lives of a few people, but may have cost the lives of countless others.

Next, let’s face it. CNN not only protected their people in Iraq, they protected their own access. If they had broken any of these stories, they would have been persona non grata in Iraq from then on. One has to look at Peter Arnett through this lens. Peter, when working for CNN cosied up to a corrupt regime to maintain access. You can justify this, I suppose, if it enables you to get the news. But what use is getting the news if you can’t tell the story.

Third, consider this incident he recounts:

      We also had to worry that our reporting might endanger Iraqis not on our payroll. I knew that CNN could not report that Saddam Hussein's eldest son, Uday, told me in 1995 that he intended to assassinate two of his brothers-in-law who had defected and also the man giving them asylum, King Hussein of Jordan. If we had gone with the story, I was sure he would have responded by killing the Iraqi translator who was the only other participant in the meeting. After all, secret police thugs brutalized even senior officials of the Information Ministry, just to keep them in line (one such official has long been missing all his fingernails).

      Still, I felt I had a moral obligation to warn Jordan's monarch, and I did so the next day. King Hussein dismissed the threat as a madman's rant. A few months later Uday lured the brothers-in-law back to Baghdad; they were soon killed.

If you know a man is contemplating murder and don’t make it known. If he then carries out the murder, are you innocent in law? Again, I recognize and even sympathize with the dilemma. Maybe future classes in Journalistic ethics can teach future editors how to deal with these situations–at least how to sleep at night when you do what you have to do. Be sure and read this story in its entirety at the New York Times.

And remember that your news sources don't always tell it like it is.

Sometimes I wonder

I wonder about the line of reasoning people follow. Sometimes it seems they just reach out and grab a handy limb and hang on without considering what it is attached to. An example is an opinion piece on msnbc.com by Eric Alterman. He calls his column "Altercation" and probably with very good reason. He is looking for an altercation, a strange thing for peace loving, anti-war person to do. An interesting statement from his April 10 Blog:

In any case, unseemly conservative crowing to the contrary, the fact that the greatest military force ever assembled can defeat a pathetic opponent like Iraq does not really "prove" very much about the wisdom of the war. I don’t know anyone who ever thought Iraq could "win." The question was always the wisdom of choosing to go to war despite the lack of any clear Iraqi tie to anti-American terrorism, any clear evidence of weapons of mass destruction, any credible nuclear threat, any indication that we knew what we’d be doing (or how much it would cost) to run post-war Iraq and the opposition of virtually the entire world, including our closest allies, save England.

Once again, victory changes nothing.

The first sentence is correct if obvious. The last sentence is, well, you decide. It sure looks to me as if a lot of things have been changed. If they can Find Saddam Hussein at the bottom of that hole, perhaps they can ask him if anything has changed.

Citing Robert Wright, writing in Slate a few weeks ago, Alterman notes:

We also, Wright argues, could have acheived "regime change" through the United Nations and without this war. (A war sanctioned by the United Nations would have salvaged an international system that we will be needing desperately in the future, alas.)

It is not at all apparent to me that regime change could have been achieved through the United Nations. In fact some authorities have said that the UN charter prohibits it from pursuing regime change. It doesn’t seem to matter very much. Is there anyone who believes that France, Germany or Russia would have ever voted for regime change in Iraq.

Finally, there is this:

And lest we forget this war was justified on the basis not of liberating the Iraqis — lots of people need to be liberated and are not going to be — but on the defense of the United States of America. So far, no evidence at all has turned up demonstrating the reality of that alleged threat. Even in victory, therefore, the war remains unjustified, if not unjust.

A couple of things to think about. Just because you can’t liberate everyone doesn’t mean you shouldn’t liberate anyone. As to the reality of the alleged threat, two terrorist training camps have been destroyed that were demonstrably pursuing chemical and biological warfare.

It may be that the Bush vision will turn out to be wrong. It may be utterly impossible to establish democracy in the Arab world. And if so, at least we will know what we are dealing with.

April 12, 2003

European Decline?

An important editorial by George Will today reveals just how weak Europe has become. And it casts considerable doubt on some prophetic scenarios offered in the 60's by Hal Lindsey and others. Based on prophecies in Daniel and elsewhere, ten nations were to form a United States of Europe to be dominated by the Pope and to become the great Beast power of Revelation 13. In the 60's prophecy buffs watched carefully as the European Union grew toward ten nations. Then in puzzlement as it grew beyond ten and appeared to struggle.

Speaking for myself, I became convinced long ago that, while I think Europe will figure prominently in events at the close of this age, the Beast of Revelation 13 will not be an evolutionary institution. That is, it will be born in revolution arising out of crisis. It will not slowly evolved into a major world power. That said, even the revolution will take time. George Will notes:

Some European militaries, like Canada's, can barely be considered real military--meaning war-fighting--forces. The New York Times reports that more than half of Germany's defense budget of just $27 billion goes to salaries and benefits for personnel--a third of them civilians who, after 15 years, are guaranteed lifetime employment. Germany had to lease Ukrainian aircraft to get its peacekeeping forces to Afghanistan.

As everyone has seen, it takes a lot of time to get even a prepared military in place to make a difference in world events. To get the military prepared in the first place takes decades. And as powerful as the US military is, look how it was stretched to accomplish the win in Iraq. They say the US can fight two wars at the same time, but no one really wants to.

So what could bring about such a revolution in Europe? Nothing on the immediate horizon, but the impotency of Europe has just been exposed for all to see. George Will points to the proximate cause of European decline:

The crisis with Iraq, which became an overdue crisis of U.S. relations with the U.N. and portions of Old Europe, arrived as the U.N. was publishing ``State of the World Population 2002.'' To the extent that demography is destiny, Europe's collective destiny, for decades, will be beyond the choice of its governments, and will be a continuing decrescendo.

Today Europe's population is 725 million. The populations of 14 European nations are declining, and the declines are driven by powerful social values and trends that would be difficult for governments to reverse, were they inclined to try, which they do not seem to be. The growth rates of the populations of the other European nations are at or near zero. So the European population is projected to be 600 million in 2050.

Where all this will lead, no one can say. Hitler came to power as result of a crisis. It is almost certain that the Beast of Daniel and Revelation will arise out of crisis.

April 21, 2003

Follow the Money

I’m just a country boy from the hills of Arkansas. I have come a long way since then, but I can still recognize the smell of a skunk. When I heard that France and Russia don't want to lift sanctions on Iraq, my nose crinkled. And then Bill Safire, writing in the New York Times today explained what I was smelling in terms that even a country boy can understand.

Why do you suppose France and Russia — nations that for years urged the lifting of sanctions on oil production of Saddam's Iraq — are now preventing an end to those U.N. sanctions on free Iraq?

You will want to read this, because it fills in the background of a very real security problem this country is facing–and of what has to amount to an international criminal conspiracy of staggering proportions. Read it here. You have to register but it is free.

Who Should Not Run Iraq?

Martin Peretz, writing in this week’s The New Republic, surprised me. The New Republic is a mostly liberal journal that supported the war on Iraq. But Mr. Peretz, after a careful analysis of this issues had this to say about the issue:

The fact is that, if Iraq is really to make it, it will have to make it as a multicultural society. Otherwise, it will return to ritual and routine bloodletting. Maybe the odds are not good that it will evade this fate. The past, especially a past like the Iraqi past, is always a tendentious mortgage.

Still, to the extent that the Americans who crafted this war are largely the people who will craft the peace—which is to say, craft the arrangements for governing Iraq—the odds become better. It is ironic—isn't it?—that it is the Pentagon from which the boldest and most humane vision of the future Iraq has come.

What about the United Nations, shouldn’t they have a role? Much to my surprise, Mr. Peretz is opposed to that:

But it is in the interest of the people of Iraq that the United Nations be marginalized in the reorganization of their government. The United Nations made a hash of all the countries where it had reconstructive responsibilities, such as Cambodia and Haiti....

The United Nations has administered a corrupt oil-for-food program in Iraq. It ran an incompetent weapons inspections program, not once but twice. Its sanctions regime was breached even by permanent members of the Security Council. The organization is so fractured by factions, so mesmerized by melodrama, that it is a model of organizational dysfunction. The United Nations is not the world's last hope for anything. At worst, it is a sanctuary for those who do evil. At best, it is an excuse for those afraid to do good.

It now appears that the UN will not have a central role in governing post war Iraq. The US team that planned this war so brilliantly has also planned the peace. And they will be far down the road before the UN can decide what to do next. We may now be entering the shock and awe phase at the United Nations.

April 23, 2003

The Stink at State

If you are wondering what the beef is over the State Department, and why Newt Gingrich is up in arms about it, Tony Blankley has a good summary today.

In perhaps Newt's most withering observation, he explained that it was lucky the Defense Department and Central Command successfully negotiated for basing rights with the Gulf States: "Had Centcom and DoD been as ineffective at diplomacy as the State Department (which is supposedly in charge of diplomacy), Kuwait would not have been available, the Saudi air base would not have been available and the Jordanian passage of Special Forces would not have been available. The military delivered diplomatically, and then the military delivered militarily in a stunning four-week campaign."

Read the entire column here. It’s worth your time.

April 24, 2003

The Real Islam

Apparently Franklin Graham and friends are standing by to go into Iraq, when it is safe to do so, with a view to expanding the Christian population there above its current level of about one million souls. Ann Coulter today notes that there is concern in some quarters about Christians "proselyting" in an Islamic country. She is not, however talking about Osama Bin Laden. Rather there are those in our own country who seem to thing that Christians shouldn’t do that.

Well. All I can say is that asking Christians not to spread the word of Jesus is like asking them to stop being Christians. But the fact is that Islamists are scared to death of western culture in general and Christianity in particular. I am sure you noticed how women were treated in Afghanistan. This is the future of women everywhere if Islamists have their way. The problem is that as western and Christian values begin to penetrate Islamic countries, Islam begins to lose influence.

The Islamists know that their brand of Islam cannot compete in the market place of ideas. It may be that they see what others cannot: that Islam cannot compete in that marketplace, at least in the form most familiar. Sectarian Islam is grievously threatened by democracy. This is why the Iranian Mullahs are so concerned about what is happening in Iraq.

The race is on, now, between the encroachment of the west and Christianity into the Moslem world on the one hand, and the efforts of the Mullahs to retain control of their people. The most dangerous trend in the world to an Islamist is the democratization of information.

Franklin Graham and his crusaders are a different breed from the Catholic crusaders of yore. They are going in harms way, but that is nothing new for those who hold the faith of Christ.

April 29, 2003

14 Billion Years?

A few people were surprised recently when I suggested that God was the author of the Big Bang, nearly 14 billion years ago. I was surprised that anyone was surprised. Science has long since determined the speed of light–186,000 miles per second. How long has it been since Hubble noticed that light displays a Doppler effect similar to the effect of the sound of an approaching train. The sound of the train is higher in pitch as it approaches and lower as it passes and receded. Light does something similar. A star that is receding from us appears slightly redder than a star that is not. And the redder the shift in the color of a star, the faster it is going away from us. The faster it is going away, the further it is.

At first, it was only a rough guide to the size of the universe. After some false starts, the Hubble space telescope has answered some crucial questions, and scientist are now pretty certain that the Universes is some 13.8 billion years old, give or take a couple of hundred years. Once you have established that a star is 13 Billion light years away, it should be obvious that the light we are seeing today left it 13 billion years ago.

Most Christian people saw the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe as confirmation of the creation. It acknowledges that the entire universe began at a point in time before which there was nothing. But I gather a few intrepid souls held on to the idea that the earth and the universe were created about six thousand years ago and all at the same time.

Here’s the problem. When the earth was formed, all rocks and minerals contained radioactive materials. These radioactive materials decay at a predictable rate, no matter what the external conditions. They create what one source called "independent clocks that allow geologists to determine the age of the rocks in which they occur." For a simple explanation of how it works, click here. The earth turns out to be about 4 billion years old.

The problem comes about when people read Genesis and then try to follow the chronological references to date the earth. Or they have the dates of Archbishop Usher in the margins of their Bibles and they find that creation took place in seven days in 4004 BC. This has posed a crisis of faith for a few people when they find that the earth is much, much older than that.

It is true that the Bible seems to place a creation of sorts some six thousand years ago, IF we correctly understand the chronological references and if those references are complete. Several theological theories have been advanced to account for the discrepancy. One, the Gap Theory assumes an indefinite period of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. It allows for the age of the earth to be as old as science says it is. It is not without its problems, though, and an Internet search will find any number of objections to the theory.

A more common approach is simply to recognize that Genesis 1 is not intended to be read as history or taken literally. This theory takes it as an ancient song, poem or hymn that expresses the truth of creation without trying to give us a historical account of it. There is an interesting sidebar to the creation hymn of Genesis 1. If indeed it is a poetic expression of the creation rather than a literal one, what is the point of constructing the poem the way it is constructed? It is obvious when you think about it. It is to establish the Sabbath as the sign of the Creator.

Whatever explanation you offer, it isn’t necessary to deny science in order to believe Genesis. If science can prove that the universe is 14 billion years old, why not glorify God for His great works and try to understand the Bible better than we have up to now. It will not damage my faith if science can prove that Noah’s flood was 10,000 years ago. It might damage my confidence in my understanding of biblical chronology and send me back to the books. But it doesn’t change the truth of Noah’s flood.

I taught Old Testament Survey for seven years in college and the term paper assignment for all my students was to construct a chronology as they went. They had to read the entire Old Testament in the year, and they were to note and chart each chronological reference as they came to it. In seven years, I don’t think two of them ever agreed–even closely. The reason? The standards of recording the passage of time in the ancient world are foreign to us. And the further back we go, the more foreign they become.

I consider biblical chronology of value only in the most general way for getting a feeling for the passage of time. After all, if it had been of vital importance to us, God could easily have seen to it that we had the data we need. The fact that he didn’t should tell us something.








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