Is it the End of the World?

Is it the End of the World?

Darwin’s evidence

posted by jfletcher

I am reading an extraordinary book, Banquet at Delmonico’s, by Barry Werth, which traces the rise of evolutionary thought in America, in the 19th century. I can’t recommend it enough.

As with most things these days, the book reminds me of Israel and Bible prophecy, since I happen to be one of the Neanderthals that believes Scripture to be true in its history, among other things.

At one point in Banquet, Werth discusses Charles Darwin’s inner turmoil, as a young man, as he gradually abandoned belief in the supernatural. Around 30 or so, Darwin jettisoned any belief in divine revelation, i.e., the Bible, because he thought it “more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would suffice to convince me.”

Invent evidence. It’s too bad he lived a hundred years too early, for the mere knowledge that Israel was re-established should have provided that evidence—the invention of which would have proven unnecessary.

I was just in Israel, and using my average intelligence, which includes reading the Old Testament and then mulling over recent history, I can see quite clearly that the existence of Israel cannot be explained by naturalism.

Time and again in the Bible, God declares that after “many days” the Jews will be re-gathered into their ancestral land.

They are back, and that is unprecedented in history.

One wonders how far the modern philosophy of naturalism would have gotten if Darwin had lived to see it.

The president fulfills prophecy

posted by jfletcher

Here’s a fun exercise that you can do in the privacy of your own mind.

Get a Bible and read, say, Zechariah 10-14. Perhaps Psalm 83. You might include Ezekiel 36-39.

There you should get the strong impression that—if there is such a thing as “the last days”—that for some reason, the whole world gets sick of the Jews. I believe Ezekiel 37 is proof enough that a sovereign Jewish state exists in the last days.

But there is some trigger to the anger of the nations. President Obama’s recent speeches on the Israeli-Palestinian issue overlay quite nicely with these prophecies. He even said that the day is coming when the international community will get tired of a peace process that goes nowhere. In today’s political world, that means it’s all Israel’s fault.

There are political issues involved here, and I won’t go into those, but a simple comparison between prophetic scriptures and modern statements from diplomats and politicians leaves one with the strong impression that the two are linked.

And this is not to say that this or that politician is evil, or in collusion with evil. It is simply a fascinating study into how the Bible really does mirror reality.

Staying in Israel

posted by jfletcher

I often hear the myth that Israel is unsafe, especially for tourists. I know for sure that that is false.

A week there sightseeing was a wonderful experience, even with the unrest that is the hallmark of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

I’ve stayed in quite a few hotels and with few exceptions, they are quite good. The King David is simply the best—one man’s opinion—with its old-world opulence. And I was stunned to see the magnificence that will be the Waldorf-Astoria, just down the street. Work continues and this no doubt will be a showplace.

We stayed several nights at the Mount Zion (I’d stayed there before and will again), located just steps from the Old City. On the edge of the Valley of Hinnom, mentioned in the Bible, the Mount Zion Hotel was quite good. The hotel staff was very helpful.

We also stayed at Christ Church Guesthouse and the location and general pleasantness can’t be beat. Just inside Jaffa Gate, one has only to roll out of bed in the morning and head directly into the Old City.

All in all, I not only felt safe, but very comfortable and content. A few minor issues: I rented a car and was advised against going into certain areas, due to Palestinian annoyance with the 44th anniversary of Israel’s Six-Day War victory.

I have not changed my mind that Bible prophecy gives every indication that we are living at the end of world history—critics’ scoffing and mocking, be gone!—but a trip to the Land of Israel was, for me, quite wonderful.

Masada

posted by jfletcher

This is my fifth trip to Israel, and they get better and better. We are perfectly safe, the weather is gorgeous, the food incredible, and the historical sites are other-worldly.

Two days ago, Jonathan and I went to Masada, the ancient summer residence of Herod, on the Dead Sea. Of course, it is more famous as the scene of a ghastly last-stand by Jews who refused to bow to Rome. One thousand men, women, and children died on the summit, killing themselves rather than face a life of slavery.

It is redundant to say that it’s hot down there, the lowest spot on Earth. But, it was hot. A dry heat, yes, but an extremely hot dry heat!

When you travel south to Masada, you will drive the length of the Dead Sea. I was surprised to see that opposite the fortress, the seabed was dry. This was the region where Sodom and Gomorrah once existed, as well. Brother, this is a forbidding climate, and not for the faint of heart.

And, for the Weird File: I took a slight wrong turn on the way to Masada, and ended up asking directions at a Palestinian-run gas station…done-up in an Elvis motif. The incongruity left us laughing most of the day.

Despite the unrest in this region, we are encountering people who are lively, seemingly content, and resourceful. What an amazing country. You should simply decide to make the trip.

Long live Israel.

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