The Bible informs us that God created the moon on Day 4 of Creation Week (Genesis 1:14–19). Some of its functions are briefly described: it provides light and helps us plan out our calendars. But the moon has another important function: it helps create tides, the daily rise and fall of water along our shorelines. But how do tides work? This is a mystery that baffles people today, as it did people in the ancient past. Yet, it is not that hard to understand, if you think about it.
Why do we have tides?
The forces that create ocean tides are outside our normal daily experience and so people sometimes struggle to explain them. Galileo (AD 1564–1642) famously erred by claiming that the earth’s rotation and orbit caused tides. However, as people in his day pointed out, this would cause only one high tide per day. Instead there are two along most coastlines in the world. However, centuries before Galileo, the medieval Anglo-Saxon monk and historian, the Venerable Bede (AD 673–735), correctly worked out that the moon was responsible. Yet Galileo rejected lunar attraction as too mystical. This was not an easy thing to understand, because even if the tides are higher at a full moon, they are also high at the new moon. Also, the maximum height is usually not when the moon is straight overhead.
Imagine a nation-state which regularly faces serious, even destructive, threats. In jeopardy from external forces and internal sabotage, it operates under strict martial law, with capital punishment for foreign invaders or rogue citizens. There are specialist centres for essential education and training, as well as detention centres, waste disposal facilities, and efficient transport systems.
The state ensures its own survival by ruthlessly policing its borders and neutralizing any menace. This requires surveillance and security checks. Its sophisticated identification system lets it detect and eliminate terrorists, while protecting innocent citizens. Individuals with particular skills, some at elite level, are its police, soldiers, and special operatives. High-level communication ensures coordinated responses, and pre-emptive strategies are in place to efficiently counter dangerous incursions.
All this has parallels with your body’s ingenious immune system.
Footprint fiasco shows why dating methods can’t be trusted
The case of human footprints found in a layer of volcanic ash in Mexico is a good example of how different dating methods can give wildly different dates for the same layer. Radiometric dating is not objective science!
The Bible indicates that God created human beings to live in fellowship with him. In the beginning, they could see that the stars declared the glory of God. But the first human beings broke their fellowship with God. They rebelled. They wanted to be like gods themselves. And with that rebellion they put out their spiritual eyes, so to speak. Now we work hard not to see the obvious thing about stars, namely that they declare their Maker. We work hard because we cannot bear to admit our dependence on God. At the same time, we cannot bear not to desire beauty, which reminds us of the beauty of God. We are miserable. In the Bible, God tells us that the only way back is through his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the Way who brings us back to know God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, eyes formerly blind are opened. They see the stars again, as David saw them.
Who am I? Where have I come from? What we believe to be the answer to these questions will determine how we view ourselves, the world we live in and those around us. The two major worldviews on offer are: Human beings are the product of a mindless event – an accidental collision of atoms brought about by the blind forces of nature, without plan, meaning or purpose. Or We are here on purpose by design and that each individual (regardless of circumstances) is of eternal worth and significance. One of these worldviews must be wrong and the particular view to which you subscribe will taint your understanding of yourself, everyone around you and everything you see. The question of origins must surely be of the highest importance to every one of us. Many people dismiss the Bible’s explanation of origins without any real consideration because it is “obviously wrong”. Is it? On this web page we encourage you to investigate why we believe the Bible gives the most reliable, accurate and satisfying account on the question of origins, especially in the light of the discoveries of modern science.
Trinity Grace Church recognises that the biblical doctrine of creation has been under sustained attack for many decades, and increasingly so even from evangelical church leaders. Therefore, in order to clarify our own convictions as a church, we have prepared the following statement. * We believe that the creation narrative in Genesis 1 & 2 is the benchmark against which all scientific theories of origins must be tested, and that the plain reading of the text is the only reliable account of first things that we possess. In the light of this conviction, we believe that the following truths must always form the foundation of our thinking as we approach this important doctrine:
God is eternal and infinite having neither beginning nor end, and in that sense He is the only truly eternal being. Rev 1:11,17; 2:8; 21:6; 22:13. Is. 41:4; 43:10; 44:6; 48:12.**
Spirit. Jn 4:24; Isa 31:3; Ps 139:7-12.
Immutable. Ps 102:27; Heb 1:12; Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8; Jas 1:17.
Omniscient. Ps 40:5; Job 11:7–9; Ro 11:33.
Omnipotent. Rev 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 16:14; 19:15; 21:22; Gen. 17:1; 28:3; 35:11; 43:14; 48:3; 49:25; Ex 6:3; Num 24:4; II Cor 6:18.
Omnipresent. I Kin 8:27; II Chr 2:6; 6:18; Ps 113:4-6; 139:7-12; Jer 23:23-24.
Creation is a supernatural event ‘out of nothing’, brought about by an act of divine will at God’s word of command. Rev 4:11; 10:6; Gen 1:1; Ex 20:11; Isa 40:26,28; Jer 32:17; Jn 1:1–3; Ac 17:24; Eph 3:9; Col. 1:16,17; Heb 1:2,10.
In six days God created the heavens and the earth and everything in it. Gen 1:1; 2:1-3; Ex 20:8-11; 31:17.
All living things were created according to particular, distinct ‘kinds’ and only reproduce according to those ‘kinds’ Gen 1:24-25; 7:1-3,13-16; 8:15-19.
Humanity was made in the image of God as the pinnacle of God’s creative activity. Gen 1:26-27; 5:1; I Cor 11:7; James 3:9.
God sustains creation as an act of will by the word of His power. Heb 1:3; Ps 104:1-35; 135:6-7; 145:16-17; Mt 10:29-30; Col 1:17.
The world that God created was good with no sin, corruption, death or disease. Gen 1:1:10,12,18,21,25,31; Ecc 7:29.
Adam was the first man and Eve the mother of all living. Gen 1:27; 2:7; 3:20.
Adam and Eve sinned by direct disobedience to God’s command, and as a result of their sin (Adam in particular being the divinely appointed head of the human race) and moral rebellion, death resulted as a direct judgement from God and reigned over them and all their offspring. Rom 5:12,19; Gen 2:17; 3:19; Rom 6:23; I Cor 15:21-22.
All people have inherited a sinful nature by our lineage from Adam. Rom 5:12,19; Gen 3:1-24; I Cor 15:22.
The whole of creation has been brought under the bondage of corruption and decay as a direct consequence of this cosmic treason. Gen 3:17-19; Rom 8:20-22; Heb 6:8.
The statement as found above was approved by the church members meeting held on 12th September 2012 * This extended statement supplements the brief statement in our basis of faith section b), and complements the longer statement in chapter 4 of the 1689 Confession to which the church is fully committed (see part 3.1 in section C of our constitution). ** Scripture references listed are not intended to be exhaustive, but rather a helpful summary of the main points. If you would like a more complete list of references, or for other literature that may be of help, please ask one of the elders.
Owls Masters of the Night Sky
Owls are intriguing, majestic birds, with their large eyes, earlike tufts on their heads, noiseless flight, and characteristic night-time hoots. They live on every continent, except Antarctica. These birds are solitary and are usually active during twilight or at night. Some species, such as the burrowing owl (Speotyto cunicularia) and the short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) are active during the day.
Owls eat insects and/or small animals such as rodents. Some species, such as the Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) have even been known to kill roe deer fawns.1
Environmentalists are sometimes disparagingly called ‘tree-huggers’, but that would be a bad idea in the case of the Manchineel tree (Hippomane mancinella L., family Euphorbiaceae). In fact, any form of contact with any part of this tree is extremely dangerous due to the potent toxin in the wood, bark, leaves, and fruit.
The tree is up to 15m (50 feet) tall, with lush leaves. Its fruit looks like and tastes like apples, but the sweet flavour quickly gives way to an intensifying burning feeling that will make swallowing almost impossible. One article warned that eating enough of the fruit would cause one to “suffer about the same fate as someone exposed to nerve gas. … This tree can, and has, killed people.”1