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Wilderness to Water. Reflections regarding God's faithfulness, character, love, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. An examination of God's grace and power through meditative prose, poetry, original drawings and full-color photographs.

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"We have paid some high prices for the technological conquest of nature, but none so high as the intellectual and spiritual costs of seeing nature as mere material for our manipulation, exploitation and transformation. With the powers of biological engineering gathering, there will be splendid new opportunities for similar degradation of our view of man...If we come to see ourselves as meat, then meat we shall become." --Dr. Leon Kass (biologist, U. of Chicago)

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“A better word than “scientism” for the reductionist vision of the world is “philistinism.” A philistine is someone who is blind to the spiritual side of human existence, who thinks that all that matters is tangible, all that exists, material. It matters little whether the materials in question are dollars and cents or atoms and molecules. The fault in the vision is precisely the same.”--James A. Barham, philosopher

"David and Goliath", Osmar Schindlar, lithograph, 1888

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”Goliath, the Philistine …stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance.” (1Samuel 17:23)

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-----The word “Goliath” is derived from the word galah [Strong's Concordance, 1540] meaning “captive”, “stripped bare”, “denuded” in a particularly disgraceful way,... ie., shamefully exposed and conspicuously uncovered..

-----The word “Philistine” is derived from the Hebrew pelesheth, and palash' [Strong's Concordance, 6429, 6428] words meaning “migratory/exiled” those who “roll” (or wallow) grieving in the dust.

"David with Head of Goliath", Caravaggio

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”When the Philistines saw that their hero [ie.,Goliath] was dead, they turned and the gates of Ekron.”- (1 Samuel 17: 51, 52)

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-----The word “Ekron” is derived from the Hebrew root eqrown' and 'aqar [Strong's Concordance 6138, 6131], words meaning “to make barren” (to hamstring, to uproot), “to exterminate” or “to annihilate”.

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The Bible is able to speak to and inform the human heart on every conceivable level and in every setting and context. It is able to communicate spiritual truth to the people of any culture, nation or tribe. And it can do so, it seems, at any time. It can communicate to and satisfy both the unschooled and the most highly educated. It speaks its truth to the most miserably downtrodden and oppressed as well as to the most comfortably ensconced powerful elite. It can just as easily mystify and fascinate the innocent pre-schooler as it can mesmerize the wise and aged scholar.

Peasant and PhD. equally may be filled and satisfied at this, its wellspring, the Word..

It comforts and it clashes. It caresses, and it stings. It may counsel, soothe and whisper one minute and then turn around the next to nag and prod and challenge.

It hides and pursues. And it often does so simultaneously.

Even its most arrogantly dismissive deniers and detractors can't shake it. Nor can they seem to leave it alone. Such is the nature of its beguiling power. It is like a finely honed, double-edged sword., and its razor-sharp, cross-shaped point aims to penetrate the stony, Self-centered heart of man in an act of Divine Grace and Mercy.

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Slave dungeon (former Gold Coast, west Africa)Today, the elite sophisticates of Scientism, those who have willingly chained themselves to the dungeon walls of their sacred Materialism , can't seem to elude the persistent, pursuing Scriptures. These captive magi of nihilism are the new Philistines, and whether they be astronomers, physicists, chemists , biologists or micro-biologists, they, just like Goliath before them, proudly step forward to shout out their intransigent and fiercely held speculations. From the self-imposed confines of their metaphysical holding cells, the sounds of their desperate and sadly predictable Nietzschean pronouncements...their “usual defiance”... echo and reverberate throughout modern culture:

“The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.” --Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist

“Our brains are simply meat computers that, like real computers, are programmed by our genes and experiences to convert an array of inputs into a predetermined output.”--Jerry Coyne, biologist

“....spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."---Stephen Hawking, physicist

“.......versions of “nothing”—beyond merely empty space—including the absence of space itself, and even the absence of physical laws, can morph into “something.” Indeed, in modern parlance, “nothing” is most often unstable. Not only can something arise from nothing, but most often the laws of physics require that to occur.” --Lawrence Krauss, physicist

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"And on and on it goes.....

Such is life for the Church of Scientism's self-appointed and self-anointed priests who preach their "everything from nothing" fundamentalist gospel of annihilation and meaninglessness to all who are foolish enough to listen and believe their vain, irrational pontifications delivered from the pulpit erected on the threshold of the Gates of Ekron."

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"We are Robots! We are Puppets!"

(Just Amino-Acid Heads! )


There's a giant living with us...
A Goliath mocking God.....
He's a haughty, proud opponent
Nihilism gets his nod.

"Collossus", Francesco Goya

There! Exposed and proudly standing!
Pompous “champion”, he preens.
Then he scoffs at his own Maker
Ranting, “We're the Philistines!”

He swears: “Science is the Answer!”.
“Human Reason runs the show!”
“And the Reason that we stand on?
Only dust...and that we know!”

“We're just chemical reactions!”
“Just an accident of Chance!”
“We are Meat Machines from Nowhere...
“And a Fluke of Happenstance!”

“We are robots! We are puppets!
“Just Amino-Acid Heads!”
“We are meaningless concoctions
From some lucky protein thread.”

“Yes! Spontaneous Creation!”
“That's the truth we want to share...
“That's the bottom line we're snorting
“In this Kingdom of the Air.”

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“There's no High 'n' Lofty Standard!”
“There's no Plumb Line to endure!”
“There's no 'Right' you ought to strive for...
“And no 'Wrong', Man, that's for sure!”

“There's no 'Moral Law' from Heaven....
“There's no 'heaven', Man, at all!!
“God forbid that you'd believe it!”
Empty Darkness only calls.”

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Captive idol conversation
Casts a dark and ancient spell...
Babel's magik now updated
From this godless prison cell.

There Goliath stands... uncovered,
Quite stripped bare for all to see.
Dust to dust!” his pride pronounces...
That's his Dungeon-dark Decree.

Final Act?.......Annihilation!
His Eternal Endless Nought.
He keeps running into darkness.
Ekron's Gate is all he's got.

"David and Goliath" (detail) , Caravaggio

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“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power...For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but...against the the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6: 10...13)

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“The total character of the in all eternity chaos---in the sense not of a lack of necessity but lack of order, arrangement, form, beauty, wisdom and whatever names there are for our aesthetic anthropomorphism...When will all these shadows of God cease to darken our minds? When will we complete our de-deification of nature?”--Friedrich Nietzsche (sometime before he died alone, insane and ravaged by syphilis)

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“This is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by all but the theologians. They have always accepted the word of the Bible: In the beginning God created heaven and earth… [But] for the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; [and] as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” -Robert Jastrow (physicist, astronomer, cosmologist)