As we all have to endure the daily stresses of life, I believe that the majority of the Western population takes for granted that the human world will continue for years, decades, centuries, even millennia of years to come. And so we see ourselves evolving on a gradual upward spiral towards a kind of godhood or divinity, probably not much unlike the Karma of Buddhism or Hinduism where by means of many, many incarnations, one will eventually reach a divine realm of Nirvana. Except that whilst Nirvana may be some heavenly realm of the Blessed, the divinity reached by a typical Westerner remains firmly on the ground through by means of Science and Knowledge.
And so science continues to accelerate. Who would ever believed, merely thirty years ago, that I could send a message electronically to someone living halfway round the world, and the message would be received in an instant, therefore eliminating a trip to the Post Office to buy a stamp for the seven-day journey for my letter to reach its destination. And even then, believing that it would take a week for the letter to reach Australia from the United Kingdom was rather optimistic. Anything could have arisen on its long journey to have caused delays to its arrival. Not so with email. And just as an insight to our present teenagers: Yes, those red cylindrical pillars with an elongated rectangular slot, cemented into the ground at the High Street or shopping mall, is a letterbox, where letters are posted for the start of their "snail pace" journey to their recipients, whether just a block away or as far away from the UK as New Zealand.
Email has eliminated much of this, and as a result there were talks of the Post Office going out of business, if it wasn't for the massive rise in both domestic and commercial parcel deliveries, which are made by orders carried out through none other than the Internet. But then again, I remember a time when receiving mail from distant relatives was always something of anticipation. Nothing was more exhilarating for my mother, for example, than to receive that unique envelope with its characteristic green and red striped edge, and then sitting down to enjoy a good read of the ballpoint pen script, handwritten by her parents living in Italy. And then afterwards, having written a response, off she went to post her letter at the local red letterbox, which back then involved some walking.
With the advance of instant communication, I find it sad that such nostalgic simplicity of letter-writing, along with the extra effort required to post it, is now confined to the past, leaving any post arriving at my door arousing anxiety for that dreaded brown envelope which within formal typewritten contents on a single sheet reminding me of a payment now due. But the advance of Science is not all about reminiscence, or the nostalgic simplicity of the past. Rather, it's due to the advance of scientific knowledge which enabled a team of surgeons to literally save my life when I had to submit myself for a major cardiac operation two years ago. And it is amazing that a regular taking of prescribed medicine can allow a patient such as myself to live normally, free of any symptoms. No doubt, I'm so glad that we are living in an age when Science has made our lives immeasurably easier. But there is always the tail side to the coin. Fears of a nuclear holocaust, developed by advanced science, wiping out the whole of mankind to extinction seemed to have aroused anxiety among a large percentage of the population.
Hence the rise of Pseudoscience, which began to make a prominence during the sixties and seventies. This followed the 1962 Cuba Crisis when both the USA and the USSR were a hair's breath from nuking each other, which would have posed a threat of virtually wiping out all human civilisation. This threat over Cuba took place some seven years into the American involvement of the Vietnam War, which was to continue into 1975. With mainstream scientists communicating mainly among themselves, including those in the field of Archaeology, the average man in the street was left wide open for unscrupulous writers, such as Erich Von Daniken, making a mint in writing popular science books intended to attract the public's attention and refute mainstream archaeology. Although Von Daniken had written several books on related subjects, his most famous was Chariots of the Gods? which scored quite a hit in university campuses, as well as in High Street bookshops. The book advocated an alternate theory explaining the existence of various ancient artefacts found around the world of having extraterrestrial origins rather than being the work of humans. This, according to Von Daniken, is the result of ancient astronauts visiting our planet around 40,000 years ago, and along with leaving behind such tell-tale artefacts. It is also thought that these ancient spacemen even tinkered with the genome of some primates, giving evolution a boost towards the rise of Homo Sapiens. The high reception of the book by undergraduates (I guess mainly in the USA) as well as the general public, indicates the need to save us from ourselves as we make a headlong journey towards a global nuclear catastrophe.
|Prehistoric rock painting, Tassili - Ancient astronaut?|
|The Palenque "Astronaut" Mexico, according to Von Daniken|
Despite its popularity, such books - and there were quite a number on closely similar themes by different authors - were dismissed as nonsense by mainstream scientists, even to the point of totally ignoring them in their research of their particular disciplines. But the snag was that by the mid 1970's, I was beginning to accept this pseudoscience as proper science and history. And yes, it is possible as a committed Christian believer to swallow pseudoscience as historical fact. For example, concerning the giant statues of Easter Island, in a documentary broadcast some years ago, the BBC has even listed Von Daniken's theory of extraterrestrial origins alongside that of mainstream archaeologist Thor Heyerdahl, who was a specialist on those statues.
And so as I read this morning's issue of the Daily Mail newspaper, I came across a major article which could be considered as related to Von Daniken's idea, the only difference being that instead of the rise of the Homo Sapiens, this is about when the world may be destroyed by an asteroid impact, as the Earth is due to pass through the Taurid meteor stream around the year 2030. So according to eccentric archaeologist Graham Hancock, a highly advanced civilisation was destroyed by a mini Ice Age following a comet impact around 13,000 years ago. After discovering an ancient site in Turkey, he wrote a book Magicians of the Gods, based on his findings at Gobekli Tepe, which featured limestone pillars bearing ancient carvings of this bygone catastrophe.
|A Pillar at Gobekli Tepe.|
And this stream of future world catastrophes come and go. From Erich Von Daniken's need for advanced space gods to save us from ourselves, to Graham Hancock's warning from the ancient past that as our planet is due to pass through a meteor belt, to Jehovah's Witnesses and their prophecies with movable dates on the global Battle of Armageddon sent by God to wipe out all civilisation not affiliated with the Watchtower Society. Then not to mention the more realistic extinction of mankind by a global pandemic of a virus or bacteria totally immune to antibiotics. Or for that matter, a nuclear holocaust, perhaps between the USA and North Korea, including a strike at the UK, wiping us all out.
Local disasters? Yes, as living in a fallen world, local catastrophes are part and parcel of everyday life. But something that would annihilate the entire human species? Definitely not! Because the Bible itself reassures us that for a specific reason, such a worldwide annihilation will never occur. And that despite that most mainstream scientists who debunk pseudoscience also debunk the historicity of Divine Creation and the Global Flood of Noah's day. So what is this important reason that I find absolutely reassuring?
It is God's covenant with Israel. In the Old Testament book of Jeremiah, we read such wonderful words as these:
And the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying,
Thus saith the LORD; If you can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and there should not be day and night in their season;
Then also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.
And as the hosts of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea be measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister to me...
Thus saith the Lord; If my covenant is not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth;
Then I will cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.
Jeremiah 33:19-22, 25-26 AV.
Here is the cast-iron promise - God's covenant with the people of Israel. As long as Israel exists, there will never be a worldwide annihilation of all mankind. In fact, there seems to be that the throne of David will be restored in the future, with his son sitting on it to reign. This person cannot be Solomon or any of his past descendants, for this was written after the collapse of the kingdom by Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon, in 586 BC. Then after seventy years, the Jews returned to their land to rebuild Jerusalem under the authority of governors Ezra, Zerubbabel, and Nehemiah. Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, who was a descendent of David and Solomon, but he was no longer the king of Israel or Judah. Neither was Zerubbabel, nor any of his descendants right down to Joseph husband of Mary. Therefore the promised son of David yet to reign in Jerusalem must be none other than the risen Jesus Christ himself.
Jesus Christ reigning on David's throne in Jerusalem! This is the same Lord who was crucified to atone for the sins of the world, was buried, and on the third day risen from the dead, physically - the first person in the whole of history to do so. When his reign begins, the whole planet will be transformed into a paradise, which is the restoration of the Garden of Eden, only this time it will be global. On top of this, according to Isaiah 30:26, the sunlight will be seven times brighter than at present. This will bring physical healing to all, and will also intensify the joy of everyone alive. It will be a far cry from the possibility of total annihilation of the human race.
I can rest in these promises as every Christian believer can as well. These promises brings wonderful assurance that God is sovereign, and if sovereign then his omniscience also. It is these characteristics of God which allows me to believe in Once Saved Always Saved.
Let all mainstream scientists debunk the historicity of the Bible, especially the early chapters of Genesis. But the Bible will endure, with all truth and historicity intact. It is like an anvil. It is solid and stable. When struck by a hammer, it it is the hammer that will break, not the anvil itself. Likewise these unbelieving academics will also break eventually if they continue to push away the Bible.