Monday, May 23, 2011

After the rapture, what now?

A sermon preached at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Delray Beach, Florida
5 Easter - Year A - May 22, 2011 (Sunday after the Rapture!)
Acts 7:55 - 60; Ps. 31:1-5, 15 - 16; John 14:1-14
Preacher: The Reverend Canon William H. Stokes, Rector

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself...John 14: 3

            Well, it didn’t happen!  There was no earthquake and 200 million people have not mysteriously been taken into heaven as Harold Camping, a former civil engineer turned radio preacher promised would happen.  Based on a weird and distorted formula of his own creation, Harold Camping predicted that the so-called “Rapture” would take place on May 21st marking the beginning of the end.[1] It would all commence with an earthquake on Christmas Island in New Zealand at 6:00 PM their time.  Beginning with that, the faithful would be taken up into heaven and the unbelievers would be left on earth, as the cataclysm, having begun with the Christmas Island earthquake, snow-balled through a host of natural and human disasters, culminating on October 21st with the annihilation of the world.
            But there was no earthquake on Christmas Island and it’s all ridiculous nonsense.  Mr. Camping should just retire into the sunset which will, by the way, take place in Oakland, California today at precisely 8:17 PM.  You can count on that!  I hope the buildings or bridges or whatever it was Mr. Camping constructed as a civil engineer were more solidly built than his predictions about the rapture.  This is the second time he’s been wrong.  He first predicted that the end of the world would come in 1994.  Mr. Camping’s predictions have not been for naught though.   
            A Wall Street Journal article appeared Friday with the title, “End-time Talk Unleashes Entrepreneurial Flood.”[2]  The Journal reported that Bart Centre, described as a “New Hampshire atheist, author and entrepreneur,” viewed Mr. Camping’s prediction for the rapture and the end of the world “as advertising for his business.”[3]   According to the article, two years ago Mr. Centre started selling insurance to Fundamentalist Christian pet owners “who believe they'll be ‘raptured’ into heaven ahead of the apocalypse.”  “For those worried about what might happen to their dogs, cats, goldfish and parakeets when they're gone,” the article declared, “Mr. Centre has a solution. For a 10-year policy that costs $135, he and his band of atheists promise to come to their homes after the Rapture, collect their pets and care for them. He says his 259 clients tend to be devout believers over the age of 40 ‘who love their pets and are sincerely concerned for what will happen to them.’”[4]  Mr. Centre has given them peace of mind.  He’s also made a pretty penny himself.  Do the math - He’s made just under $35,000 on that insurance program.
            Harold Camping’s organization, Family Radio, hasn’t done badly through all of this either...According to CNN, Family Radio received $80 million in contributions between 2005 and 2009, receiving $18 million in 2009 alone![5] 
            Some of this is amusing; some of it is not amusing at all…For one thing, too many people lump all Christians together and don’t have the capacity to understand that many of us feel as they do, that Mr. Camping’s predictions are idiocy.  Christianity and Christians are made to look foolish by this stuff, and the news media have had a field day with it. That makes the work of ministry harder for all of us.  We should also recognize that some people are being hurt by false expectations of the Rapture.
            On Friday an article appeared in The New York Times titled, “Make My Bed?  But You Say the World Is Ending” under the by-line of Ashley Parker.[6]  Parker told about the Haddad children of Middletown, Md.  [They] “have a lot on their minds, she wrote: “school projects, SATs, weekend parties. And parents who believe the earth will begin to self-destruct on Saturday.”[7]  Parker continued, “The three teenagers have been struggling to make sense of their shifting world, which started changing nearly two years ago when their mother, Abby Haddad Carson, left her job as a nurse to ‘sound the trumpet’ on mission trips with her husband, Robert, handing out tracts. They stopped working on their house and saving for college.  Last weekend, the family traveled to New York, the parents dragging their reluctant children through a Manhattan street fair in a final effort to spread the word.  ‘My mom has told me directly that I'm not going to get into heaven,’ Grace Haddad, 16, said. ‘At first it was really upsetting, but it's what she honestly believes.’”[8]  Isn’t that sad?
            Predictions about the end of the world and the Second Coming of Christ have been a periodic occurrence in the past 2000 years.  “Rapture” obsession has been especially popular in this country as a result of the rise of Fundamentalism which is, truthfully, a product of the 19th and 20th century British and American Protestantism.[9]  There is no doubt that the Bible itself invites some of this, especially the New Testament.  It is clear from the texts that Jesus, the Apostles and St. Paul expected the Eschaton, the Last Days, and expected it imminently.[10]  When it didn’t come in the New Testament period, some began to adjust to a different way of thinking, with a longer view of what Jesus and his ministry meant for the world.  Others began to try to estimate the time when the Second Coming and the End-time would come; using all kinds of strange calculations and twisted readings of Scripture, just as Harold Camping had done.  They invariably have been wrong. 
            There is a key passage of Scripture that Mr. Camping should have paid attention to, and that all Christians should be aware of, when considering “end-time” issues and questions.  It’s in Mark 13, which is often labeled “the little apocalypse.”  In chapter 13 of Mark, as well as in its parallel in Matthew 24, Jesus speaks about the end-times and its signs, but concludes in verse 32, “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32).  Now if the Son of God claims not to know the day or hours, how does Mr. Camping in Oakland, California have the presumption to know?  And why do people listen to him? 
            It’s pretty clear that there are some who need to feel that they are among a very exclusive few whom God loves.   Too often, these same persons find some perverse satisfaction in thinking God rejects and condemns most others.  Their theology and their view of God’s love are limited and very narrow.  They have a difficult time accepting the idea that God’s love extends to all; that God’s desire is for all persons to know and to love him; to come into a relationship with a living and loving God; into that God’s saving embrace; and to participate with God in God’s redeeming purposes which are for the sake of this world and not just some other!. 
            In today’s Gospel reading from John, Jesus says to his disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.  If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1 -3). 
            This address to the disciples is set in the context of the Last Supper in John’s Gospel.  At first blush, it seems to consonant with the kind of rapture thinking espoused by Harold Camping.  After all, Jesus says, “I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also”  (John 14:3) 
            As Lutheran New Testament scholar Barbara Rossing observes in her book The Rapture Exposed (which we read at St. Paul’s for one of our summer book discussion sessions several years ago), “Rapture proponents like to point to Jesus’ farewell words in John 14: 1-2 as the ‘first teaching about the rapture in the Bible.’”[11] Rossing continues, “They argue that Jesus’ statement that he is going ‘to prepare a place for you’ means that he is going away to heaven to get a place ready for those who will be Raptured.  ‘In my Father’s house are many dwellings,” Jesus says, using a Greek word that means ‘resting place’ or ‘way station’: mone, from the verb ‘abide’ or ‘remain.’”[12]   “But the problem is,” Rossing points out, “that Jesus does not specify where the Father’s house is located.  Is it in heaven, as Rapture proponents argue?  Not necessarily, or at least not exclusively in the Gospel of John, because later in the same chapter [14] Jesus says that he and the Father are will come and make their “dwelling” - using the very same word [mone] - in the believing person: ‘We will come and make our dwelling (mone) with that one (John 14:23).  “Here, “Rossing states quite rightly, “the image surely means God’s mystical indwelling in the believer.”[13] 
            Rossing cites the work of a conservative evangelical scholar, Robert Gundry, who, she states, “cautions against assuming that Jesus’ ‘many dwellings’ or ‘many mansions’ are rooms in heaven.”[14]  “For Gundry,” she explains, “the crucial clue is that Jesus’ never promises that, upon his return, he will take the disciples away to the ‘dwellings’ or the ‘mansions’ in the Father’s house as one would expect in the dispensationalists’ literalist approach.  Rather, what Jesus promised to the disciples is that, ‘where I am, there you will be also.’”[15]  According to Rossing, “Gundry views the key to chapter 14 as the two parallel occurrences of mone  - verses 2 and 23.  These verses provide a ‘reciprocal relationship:  As believers have an abiding place in Christ, so Jesus and the Father have an abiding place in each believer.”[16]
            Anglicans and Episcopalians have always placed a great deal of emphasis on the doctrine of the Incarnation; that is on the understanding the in Jesus Christ, God decided to become flesh, to become one of us - to live as one of us.  We also understand that this was done for the sake of the world; and again, this world, not some other. 
            “I am the way the truth and the life,”Jesus says in today’s Gospel reading (John 14:6).  I take that as Jesus’ call to each one of us to live our lives rooted and grounded in him in this life and to imitate him in how he lived – a life of love, and service and sacrifice for the sake of others in this world today. I’m always challenged by those Christians who are so focused on heaven and the afterlife that they ignore, or even reject living life fully in this world.  As Episcopal priest Dennis Maynard said so well, and as I like to quote so often, “Some people are so heavenly minded they are of no earthly good.”[17]  We should have significant questions about this.  In the prayer that Jesus taught us, we pray to God “thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”[18]  God’s redeeming action in Jesus Christ was a sign of love for this world.                
            Rossing’s summary of Gundry is helpful: “In Gundry’s view the ‘father’s house’ in John’s Gospel is not so much heaven, as God’s household or God’s people on earth...In a strong and mystical sense, John wants to underscore that we are already, in some sense living in the mystical ‘dwelling places’ in the Father’s household that Jesus says he wants to prepare for us.”  “The passage,” Gundry concludes, “is about not mansions in the sky, but spiritual positions in Christ.”[19]   
            I have to confess, I don’t know what to make of the Second Coming...It’s not a part of the Christian teaching that I find myself terribly concerned about....I am okay with believing in it and even asserting, as I do every time I say the Creed, that Christ will “come again…to judge the living and the dead.”[20]  But Mark 13 is my definitive guide about this, “About that time, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32).  What are the implications of this for me?  I find our “Outline of Faith” in the back of the Book of Common Prayer very helpful here:  Beginning on page 861, in response to the question, “What is the Christian Hope?” it states, “The Christian hope is to live with confidence in newness and fullness of life, and to await the coming of Christ in glory and the completion of God’s purposes for the world.”[21]  I like this....I like the idea of living each day with “confidence in newness and fullness of life....”  You can’t live with confidence and newness of life standing on a beach waiting for the Eschaton!
            I choose not to focus my anxiety and my attention on what will happen to me after I die...I believe God is love (1 John 4:8,16) and because I believe that, I can leave what will happen to me up after I die to God.  I also recognize that the word “eternal” means just that, “eternal” - no beginning, no end....We’re part of “eternity” already.  When I am most faithful, most present to God, most open to God’s presence in me, I have a sense and glimmer of that ‘eternity.”  I am also aware that God calls me to live with him in Christ in the moment, in this world in the here and follow Jesus as the way, the truth and the life, by living a life in as close an imitation of his as I can....
            The call to lead this life is both my challenge and my joy....and it will be, until that day comes when I am taken into heaven, whatever that means.  I hope you too know that same joy and that same challenge and that you are living your lives with joyful confidence, in newness and fullness of life, as you await the coming of Christ in glory…

            When will that be?  God only knows!

[1]   See McKinley, Jess “At Apocalypse Central, Preapring for What Happens, or Doesn’t” – The New York Times – May 20, 2011-
[2]  Belkin, Douglas and Barrett, Joe “End-Times Talk Unleashes Entrepreneurial Flood”  The Wall Street Journal           On-line, Friday, May 20, 2011 -      
[3]   Belkin and Barrett
[4]   Belkin and Barrett
[5]   See Censky, Annalyn “Doomsday church:  Still open for business”  CNN Money, May 19, 2011 at                       camping/?section=money_latest
[6]   Parker, Ashley “Make My Bed? But You Said the World’s Ending”  The New York Times, May 19, 2011
[7]   Parker
[8]   Parker
[9]   See Wikipedia - “The Rapture”  at
[10]   See for example
[11]  Rossing, Barbara R. The Rapture Exposed:  The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation (New York:  Basic        Books – A Member of the Perseus Book Groups, 2004) p. 184
[12]  Rossing, p. 184
[13]  Rossing, p. 184
[14]  Rossing, p. 184
[15]  Rossing, p. 184
[16]  Rossing, p. 184 - 185
[17]  Slightly paraphrased from Dennis R. Maynard’s Those Episkopals (Dionysius Publications:  La Jolla CA, 1994), p. 60
[18]  See The Lord’s Prayer, 1979 Book of Common Prayer, p. 97 
[19]  Rossing, p. 186
[20]   See 1979 Book of Common Prayer, p. 359
[21]   See 1979 Book of Common Prayer, p. 861

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Of Creation, Silent Spring and Jesus as the Gate

Of Creation, Silent Spring and Jesus as the Gate!

Genesis 1: 1: 1 - 2:3; Ps. 23; John 10:1 - 10
            “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.”  Genesis 1:31

            Today we are observing “Environmental Stewardship Sunday.”  I’m excited about this and grateful to Mary Whittemore who has been the driving force our observance today, and to Mary and Roy Talbot, who in the past couple of years have been diligent and thoughtful about how to make St. Paul’s Church more environmentally aware in our thinking and more environmentally conscious in our practices.  As a result, we are using less paper and plastic, recycling more and controlling our use of electricity. 
            This past year, at the urging of our “Green Team,” a subcommittee of our Stewardship Committee, Florida Power and Light came and performed an energy audit so that we could find ways to reduce our use of electricity.  Construction projects performed, or being considered by St. Paul’s, now include a review of the products to be used with an eye, where possible, toward using those that are most environmentally responsible.  In short, St. Paul’s is increasingly getting on-board with being “Green” and striving to lower our carbon footprint and our negative impact in the environment.  It is a matter of stewardship:  stewardship of our community, stewardship of our nation; stewardship of our planet. 
            Many years ago, the Episcopal Church Center in New York made the statement that “Stewardship is the main work of the church.” [1]  This was intended to indicate that Stewardship is not merely about money given for a church’s annual campaign; stewardship is about our care of all that God has entrusted to us: yes, our money, but also our bodies, our families, our communities, our church, our nation and this planet, earth our fragile island home.[2]
            Concern and care for the environment is a central theological concern and mandate.  God made it and saw that it was good, and then God gave dominion over it all to humankind.[3]  Perhaps it sounds quaint to you, or perhaps presumptuous, to assert that humankind has this kind of power and dominion over the Earth and its living things.  But it’s not quaint…It’s not presumptuous.
            Of all the living things on Earth, humanity alone has the capacity to artificially alter, even destroy, the planet and especially the eco-system, and to do it in short order. We also have power to repair much of the damage done and to restore some of it.  The demands of our faith require us to stop doing the former and to start doing the latter.  
            On any list of the pioneers of what has become the modern environmental movement, one must certainly place Rachel Carson, who would have been 104 at the end of this month,  at or very close to the top.  Her landmark book Silent Spring,[4] credited with launching the modern environmental movement, caused what the New York Times described as a “noisy summer” in 1962.[5]  In Silent Spring, Carson argued that the broad and indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides, many of them synthetic creations of the laboratory that nature had never had to adapt to before, was not only polluting all of the earth’s eco-systems, but that this pollution was killing birds, fish and other animals.  It was also harming and killing human beings, whose bodies are, as Carson rightly observed in Silent Spring, “permeable,”[6] and thus vulnerable to these chemical toxins and their effects and especially as these were seeping into our earth, our water supply and our air.  Carson biographer, Linda Lear observed “Silent Spring proved our bodies are not boundaries. Chemical corruption of the globe affects us from conception until death.”[7] 
            In her introductory essay to the 40th anniversary edition, Linda Lear, wrote about the impact of the Silent Spring in that summer of 1962.  She noted, “In the few months between the New Yorker’s serialization of Silent Spring in June and its publication in book form that September, Rachel Carson’s alarm touched off a national debate on the use of chemical pesticides, the responsibility of science, and the limits of technological progress.   When Carson died of breast cancer barely eighteen months later, in the spring of 1964, at the age of 56, she had set in motion a course of events that would result in a ban on the domestic production of DDT and the creation of a grass-roots movement demanding protection of the environment through state and federal regulation. Carson’s writing initiated a transformation in the relationship between humans and the natural world and stirred an awakening of public environmental consciousness.” [8]  
            Needless to say, major chemical companies, producers of pesticides, did not appreciate Ms. Carson’s work.  Lear described what happened: “In 1962...the multimillion-dollar industrial chemical industry was not about to allow a former government editor, a female scientist without a Ph.D. or an institutional affiliation, known only for her lyrical books on the sea, to undermine public confidence in its products or to question its integrity.”[9]  
            Lear continues, “It was clear to the industry that Carson was a hysterical woman whose alarming view of the future could be ignored or, if necessary, suppressed.   She was a ‘bird and bunny lover,’ a woman who kept cats and was therefore clearly suspect.  She was a romantic ‘spinster’ who was simply overwrought about genetics.  In short, Carson was a woman out of control.   She had overstepped the bounds of her gender and her science.  But just in case her claims did gain an audience, the industry spent a quarter of a million dollars to discredit her research and malign her character.”   “In the end, “ Lear notes, “the worst they could say was that she had told only one side of the story and had based her arguments in unverifiable case studies.”[10] 
            Lear also notes, the effort by the chemical companies to discredit Carson backfired because it made Americans more aware of Carson’s work.  Silent Spring caught the attention of President John Kennedy with the result that federal and state investigations were launched into the validity of her claims.  As Lear notes, “Communities that had been subjected to aerial spraying of pesticides against their wishes began to organize on a grass-roots level against the continuation of toxic pollution. Legislation was readied at all government levels to defend against a new kind of invisible fallout [remember it was 1962 when the Cold War was in full swing and the greatest concern heretofore had been nuclear fallout].  The scientists who had claimed a ‘holy grail’ of knowledge were forced to admit vast ignorance.”[11]
            In the final paragraph of chapter one of Silent Spring, Carson’s own words remain hauntingly appropriate and prophetic for us today.  She writes, “There is still very limited awareness of the threat.  This is an era of specialists, each of whom sees his own problem and is unaware of or intolerant of the larger frame into which it fits.  It is also an era dominated by industry, in which the right to make a dollar at any cost is seldom challenged.  When the public protests, confronted with some obvious evidence of damaging results of pesticide applications, it is fed little tranquilizing pills of half truth.  We urgently need an end to these false assurances, to the sugar coating of unpalatable facts.  It is the public that is being asked to assume the risks that the insect controllers calculate.  The public must decide whether it wishes to continue on the present road, and it can do so only when in full possession of the facts.  In the words of Jean Rostand, ‘The obligation to endure gives us the right to know.’”[12]
            Carson’s words in 1962 remain prescient today as we continue to address the problems of toxic pollution and global warning even as too many in industry spend billions of dollars attempting to feed us “little tranquilizing pills of half truth,”[13] or, even worse misinformation and bold-faced lies in the face of research, facts and evidence that is clear, compelling, overwhelming and alarming! 
            It is striking that our Bible opens with the Creation account of Genesis in which God creates a new aspect of creation on each of the first six days, sees what has been created and affirms that “it is good.”[14]  We don’t need to be na├»ve about this account, asserting that it was literally in six days 4,000 plus years ago that all of this occurred.  That would be nonsense and flies in the face of reason and evidence to the contrary.   No, the Creation account tells theological truths in a poetic way.  
            The poet theologian looked around the world, saw order and beauty and understood that behind this there must be an “Orderer” and a Divine Artist who made the whole creation beautiful and who also gave his human creatures the capacity to see and comprehend this beauty; as well as the power to reason and to be co-creators in the world with God.   That’s theological truth told poetically; so I uphold the truths of Genesis, even if I am unwilling to argue for the “facticity” of the book as history. 
            On the sixth day, we are told God created humankind in his image, male and female, created he them, and gave them dominion, stewardship of all that is.[15] And the poet theologian tells us, God saw all that he had made, and “indeed, it was very good.”[16]  It is our conviction as people of faith that the creation is inherently and of its nature good and beautiful and that it has been given into our keeping. 
            But we should note, immediately after chapter one of Genesis, immediately after the Creation account, when everything had been created and recognized as “good,” as “very good,” come chapters 2 and 3, what has been labeled  the “Fall” and with it “original sin” - the example of humanity’s distorted use of its God-freedom; disobedience, self-assertion and selfishness.  And from chapters 2 and 3 until this very day, the relationship of sinful humanity to God has been strained as God attempts to call us back himself, call us back into his divine love; call us back into Eden.   It is an enormously challenging task, and especially in our post-modern age.
            There are a lot of voices with a lot at stake who have tremendous power and influence in our society and in our world and also tremendous self-interest that is often not congruent or consonant with the common-interest of all people.  These voices too frequently attempt to seduce us in this country and in the world into a continuing pattern of environmentally unstable and unsustainable practices that are neither good for us nor for our planet.  They are like the thieves in today’s Gospel reading who only come in to steal, kill and destroy.   Why would anyone listen to these voices; especially when another voice calls us to a higher and better way?
            “I am the gate,” Jesus says... “I am the gate for the sheep... Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.....”[17]
            At its very core, the Gospel message of Jesus Christ is about the calling all people to a life of sacrificial love and service to one another and to all human kind.  It is about love of God, and love of God’s creation.  It is about love of neighbor with a love that is to be as strong as love for one’s self.  In this view, putting self-interest above neighbor’s interest is inimical to the Gospel and Christ’s Summary of the Law.[18]  These demand and require that we work together, comprehending the essential interdependence we share; that is, we all need one another and we all need common goals and understandings, of which the preservation and cleanliness of our planet and its ecosystems is of paramount importance.
            Rachel Carson was a brilliant woman with extraordinary courage and morals.  Her courage and morals launched a movement.    Six years after her death the first Earth Day was observed; Congress passed the Environmental Policy Acts which established the Environmental Protection Agency.  The domestic production of DDT was banned.[19]
            One woman, one voice, created a movement for good...It always requires a single conscience to call forth the consciences of others….
            Multi-national corporations provide us all with so much that makes our lives and quality of living easier and good.  I know we are all thankful for this and should be.  And many multi-national companies and others are making an earnest effort to be “green” – to be environmentally responsible.  Nonetheless, there are still many multi-national corporations and others that act in ways that are harmful to us and to our environment.  It is urgent that we be what Dwight Eisenhower, in his farewell speech speaking about the potential abuses of the military-industrial complex, called us to be - an “alert and knowledgeable citizenry.”[20]   It is also important that we consider carefully and critically the question about “needs and wants” and the cost to the earth of supplying our every want, while those who need throughout the world suffer and the planet is increasingly degraded in supplying us our wants.
            It’s a really difficult challenge to discern what voices we should listen to in our world; so many shout out and compete not only for our attention, but for our allegiance...Some try to lead us in healthy and good directions; some try to mislead us; to get us to stray as wandering sheep.  What voices do you listen to?  
            The voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the Gate,  is the one that calls to all of us.  If we listen to his voice attentively; if we attach ourselves firmly to him, to his love of God and God’s creation, attach ourselves to his love of all humankind; if we attach ourselves to his voice and his Spirit living in us, then he will guide us in such a way that we can discern which of the other voices might be worthy of our attention:  voices like that of Rachel Carson in Silent Spring which tell truth in the face of power.  Jesus’ voice and his promise are sure, “Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture....”[21] We are called to respond to that voice and through it to discover life; the sweet, green, unpolluted, pasture of real like lived in Christ’s name in such a way that God will be able one day to look out and see that verdant pasture and see us and God our Creator and Sustainer will be able to say on that day, “You know, it is still good….It is very good!”

[1]    From an essay “Stewardship is the Main Work of the Church” by The Rev. C.W. Taylor adapted and affirmed by The General Convention of the Episcopal Church meeting in Detroit in 1988 (Resolution A-163).  See
[2]   See Book of Common Prayer, Eucharistic Prayer C p. 370
[3]   See Genesis 1:26 - 31
[4]   Carson, Rachel Silent Spring  (Boston & New York:  A Mariner Book published by Houghton Miflin, 2002)
[5]   Quoted in Linda Lear’s  “Introduction” to Silent Spring 
[6]    Lear  p. xvi
[7]    Lear p. xvi
[8]    Lear p. v
[9]    Lear  p. xvii
[10]  Lear p. xvii
[11]  Lear p. xvii - xviii
[12]  Carson, p. 13
[13]  Carson, p. 13
[14]   Genesis 1: 1 – 31
[15]   Genesis 1:26 ff.
[16]   Genesis 1:31
[17]    John 10:9
[18]    See  Mark 12:28 - 31
[19]    Lear xviii
[20]    Eisenhower, Dwight David  “Farewell Address” delivered January 17, 1961 – See
[21]    John 10:9