February 28, 2017

The Authority Filter

The Bible teaches a relationship of headship between husbands and their own wives (Ephesians 5:22-24). Headship certainly carries the idea of authority, but it might not be the idea of authority that many people have in their minds. For this reason many people reject it and others abuse it.

For too many people, “authority” always means “authoritarian” or “domineering.” They have a hard time imagining any type of God-honoring, loving, sacrificing, humble, Christ-like leadership. Their concept of authority is polluted. But like polluted water, the answer is not to reject all water, but to filter it of impurities. We can do this by running our concept of authority through the “authority filters” of Ephesians 5:25-33 and 1 Peter 3:7:   
Ephesians 5:25-33, "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."
THE AUTHORITY FILTER: From your concept of authority, filter out anything that is not:              

  • Christ-like. (Eph. 5:25-33)
  • Loving.  Love as Christ loved the Church. (Eph. 5:25, 33)  Think about how high a calling this is!
  • Sacrificing.  “And gave Himself up for her.”  (Eph. 5:25) 
  • Serving. (Eph. 5:25-29)
  • Sanctifying.  To make her pure and holy; to help her in her walk with God.  (vs. 26-27)
  • Providing.  “Feeds and cares for it.” (Eph. 5:29)
  • Nurturing.  “Feeds and cares for it.” (Eph. 5:29)
  • Caring.  “Feeds and cares for it.” (Eph. 5:28-29)
1 Peter 3:7, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”
  • Considerate.  “be considerate” (1 Pt. 3:7)
  • Respectful.  “treat them with respect” (1 Pt. 3:7)
  • Non-Diminishing.  “heirs with you of the gracious gift of life” (1 Pt. 3:7)
What remains after the filter is closer to the biblical understanding of Christ-like headship & authority. This is the type of leadership that husbands should provide for their wives and their families.

February 27, 2017

More New Earths?

"Scientists say life may have already evolved on at least three of the planets."

Every time they announce that new "Earth-like" planets have been discovered, it is the same thing over and over again.

The headlines claim that three of the planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1 "could support alien life." But looking closer, the only reason they say that is because these planets might have temperatures that would keep water in liquid form--if they have water. Then the assumption is that since Earth isn't anything special (assumption), life must spring up fairly easily when there is liquid water (assumption).

The vast majority of planets that have been discovered elsewhere are "Hot Jupiters" i.e., enormous gas giants orbiting extremely close to their star, with no solid surface and temperatures that would make life impossible. So when the articles say that these planets are "just like earth" it is only by comparison to these Hot Jupiters.

The planets around TRAPPIST-1 are similar to Earth in mass, but still very different from Earth. Here are a few of the differences: 
  1. They orbit a very small "ultra cool dwarf star" about 11% the radius of our yellow Sun. 
  2. These planets are tidally locked to the star, meaning that one side of the planet always faces the star and the other side always faces away. This means that one side would be extremely hot and the other extremely cold. The only place liquid water might exists would be on the thin strip between the two halves. 
  3. The three planets that could maintain liquid water (e, f, and g) are extremely close to their star. The closest is only 2.8% of the distance from its star that Earth is from the Sun. The furthers of the three is 4.5% the distance of the Earth from the Sun. This means they would be much more susceptible to solar flares and radiation. 
  4. These planets orbit their star every 6-12 days. That is a very short year!
Also remember that any pictures you see of these planets are artist interpretations. We do not have actual photographs of these planets. The planets are detected by noticing the dimming of the star as the planets block some of the light when they orbit in front of it. The pictures--like the NASA illustration above--may show oceans, but those are from the artist rather than evidence.

I wrote an article on this several years ago about another planet they claimed was "just like Earth." Most of what I wrote applies to these new planets as well. The one big difference is that at the time they had only discovered about 500 planets outside our solar system. Now, the number is about 3,500. However, of the 3,500 they only think that maybe 22 do not already have the possibility of supporting life ruled out. That about half of 1%. For the other 99.4% they know there isn't the slightest chance.

I love these scientific discoveries, but what they tell me is that Earth is much more special than we assume.

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