Black and Yellow Butterfly on a Leaf

Ravi Zacharias: Speaking for Jesus, our Creator

Ravi Zacharias-flickr

This is an article I wrote two years ago, but the only thing that’s changed is instead of having raised a few pennies for RZIM, my total is over $81. It’s still one of my favorite podcasts, and they still bring Jesus as Creator into the mix. Just the whole ministry is super careful not to drive away either Christians who think God used evolution and/or millions of years to “create” or those of us who know better!

I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I use GoodSearch to find things on the internet, and now it’s time to tell you who I support with this program!  Ravi Zacharias has been preaching and speaking around the world for many years about Jesus, humanity and the need for a Christian worldview to make sense of our lives.  When I was about 12, I saw him speak at a church on the north side of Chicago and I’ve been interested in him ever since.

His sermons are one of my favorite things to listen to on iTunes while I do my chores.  Dr. Zacharias has an unusual ministry that focuses on the very smart and “wise” people of the world.  He speaks and works at Cambridge and Oxford in England.  He has spoken to many of the most powerful people in the world, people whom most Christians never have a chance to talk to.  He uses some very big words and big ideas, but his whole focus is on pointing people to Jesus Christ and the life and meaning He offers to everyone.

I’ve noticed over the past few months how often the beginning of Genesis comes up in his speeches and I know it’s not an accident.  If we let go of God as Creator and Adam and Eve as our first parents, we lose all of the foundation of our worldview.  Life becomes just a squishy mess that we can mold however we want to, but that can’t support us in hard times.

The last two weeks the podcast has been a recent speech that Dr. Zacharias gave to a group of young people attending some sort of Bible school (at least that’s the impression I got from his closing comments).  It has a lot of big words, but the main ideas he shares I think all of you who are at least 11 or 12 should be able to understand, and all of us who are turning into or already are grown-ups need to hear.  They had to split the speech into two parts so here are the links:

Effective Apologetics in the 21st Century (part 1 of 2)

Effective Apologetics in the 21st Century (part 2 of 2)

Let me know what ideas struck you the most!

But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence. I Corinthians 23-29

Skara Brae home entrance: Wiki Commons

Ancient Technology: Sewers?!!! Skara Brae and lots more

Skara Brae passageway near house 8.

Skara Brae passageway near house 8

My dad has an amazing library including a book I’ve just borrowed on Inventions.  They start way back in the “Stone Age” with needles, paint, pottery, boomerangs, and move on to more modern stuff like sewers. When I saw that page I knew I had to cover it here.

The book mentioned that they had sewers in Scotland about 3,000 BC by secular dating, but nothing more. So, I started a GoodSearch and found lots of stuff!

Scotland did indeed have homes with draining toilets almost as far back as people have lived there. One of the northern Orkney Islands has a collection of buildings known as Skara Brae (don’t miss this link, it has some great pictures). After living in the area long enough to have organic material (garbage) to insulate their homes with, the people built their homes completely of stone since there don’t seem to have been trees there (still aren’t any to this day). Here’s what the website says about these people:

“The relics that he and his companions collected along the way were convincing proof that the site was indeed ‘Stone Age’—not a scrap of metal was found. In fact, it dates to what is known as the Neolithic period, when people first began to farm.”

So, they know how long ago this must have been because they didn’t have any metal. Which would mean that if I move somewhere without any electronics, I must have lived in the 19th Century. But were these metal-less people stupid, almost-ape men? Have a look at this:

“They normally had small cells built into the walls, some of which were used for storage but there were a few with drains leading to  the outside which Childe believed to be lavatories. The drains from the individual huts emptied into a sewer system which connected the entire village.”

Orkney's Skara Brae

Orkney’s Skara Brae showing the dresser

All the regular houses also had something very much like a chest of drawers without the drawers. We can only guess whether this was for storage, or some sort of ceremonial platform (although no idols were found!). They also had some of those stone balls I wrote about earlier. Cool. The people who made these things were no dummies!

Eventually this village was abandoned for no reason that we can tell for sure. It’s as good a guess as any that it had to do with the end of the Ice Age that Dancing from Genesis specializes in covering (be sure to check out his webpage on the Ice Age, too).

Let’s have a short look at other early drainage/sewer systems:

Well

Indus Valley ancient Well

The most famous early sewer system was in the Indus Valley of western India/eastern Pakistan. They had a number of large cities with complex and well-designed wells and separate covered sewer systems. They knew how water flows and how to use this to their advantage to have a clean and well-functioning cities as far back as human history goes. This blog post has a bunch of great pictures and talks about this system. They were no dummies either!

The Minoans of Crete had a complex water system in their labyrinth palace at Knossos with covered drains, pipes, baths and flushing toilets. Lots of pictures can be found here at Sewer History. This civilization reached its flower during the Ice Age as well. Although this civilization is ranked later than the one in Scotland that is just because we have more ways to check, like known pottery styles and written histories. I bet if the Scots had written stuff down or had the money to import pots from the Mediterranean they would date to more recent times, too.

Here are some more civilizations that had sewers in ancient times:

Babylonia Turkey, Iran, Israel (follow link to the next page for Israel)

Egypt

Mayans (they may have had fountains, too)

China  plus 900 year old drain saves city from flooding and really ancient metal pipes from near a pyramid that the website says were put in by aliens (rather than by really knowledgeable early people).

Arabia

The past two years my oldest kids and I have read through Usbourne’s Book of World History. They did cover how the first cities in the Indus valley had good drainage systems, but they didn’t talk about proper sewers in civilizations until the Roman Empire. I wonder why they left this stuff out?

And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.
And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah  Genesis 4:20-22

My starting sources online were these two pages:

Sewer History: Tracking down the roots of our sanitary sewers

A Brief History of Toilets by ar.colton