25 June 2010

Middle of the Road: R.I.P. Kermit

by Phil Johnson



ur friends at BioLogos are feeling the pincers of criticism. On one side are doctrinaire materialistic atheists; and on this side are those of us who actually believe the Bible.

BioLogos has deliberately staked out a middle-road position between these two irreconcilable worldviews. They say they are determined to find and develop common ground between both sides. But this week they've been discovering what any highway engineer will tell you: on a freeway where heavy traffic is moving at high speed in opposing directions, there's no such thing as "common ground."

Furthermore, you won't get very far pretending the yellow line is the common-ground marker. You're liable to get clobbered by traffic from both sides.

So anyway, Dr. Darrell Falk, president of BioLogos, e-mailed me Thursday morning to say he had prepared a response to Monday's Pyro-post. I read it eagerly, hoping he would respond to the substance of my critique. Instead, he spent most of his time pandering to Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne, and others on the doctrinaire-materialistic-atheist side.

He was keen to assure them that "BioLogos exists in no small part to marginalize [belief in the historicity of the Genesis account] from the Church." Specifically, the BioLogos team have targeted the notion that Adam was a special creation—fashioned in God's own image rather than evolved from higher primates. "A fundamental part of our mission is to show that [the Genesis account of Adam] is not tenable," Falk solemnly (and somewhat fawningly) assured Dawkins. (Read his post for yourself if you think I am exaggerating about the obsequious tone he takes with Dawkins.)

Dr. Falk's whole response to my post was basically: You have your interpretation of Genesis; we have ours. He seems to be suggesting that because interpretation by definition has an element of subjectivity to it, everyone is free to interpret however he or she prefers, and everyone's interpretation deserves equal respect. That may seem a nice-sounding platitude in our current postmodern context, but it is by no means a biblical value.

And it's no real answer to any of the points I made.

Indeed, Dr. Falk's one complaint about my post focused on the wording of my closing paragraph, where I wrote:
If BioLogos is willing to throw away so much at the very foundations of our faith and at the very beginning of God's revelation, I can't imagine why they would want to keep up the pretense of being Christians at all. Selectively admiring the Bible's moral teachings is not the same thing as actually believing the Bible.

Naturally, Dr. Falk did not like my suggestion that genuine faith can't be as skeptical and selective with God's revealed truth as the BioLogos team wants to be.

He also objected to Travis Allen's post at the GTY.org blog. Travis (quoting from 1 Timothy 6:20) said: "It's time for Christians to return to the self-attesting authority of God's Word and forsake the 'vain babblings and oppositions of science, falsely so called.'" Dr. Falk wasn't happy to have such harsh words (written by the apostle Paul, not by Travis Allen, as Falk seemed to think) applied to his views.

He wrote,
I do wish though, that we would not be put forward as those who, according to the above quotations, live under the "pretense of being Christians," or that we be represented as "vain babblers." At various times, we have written respectfully that we understand why this issue is so important to you. We love and respect you for the sincerity of your position, but please don't call us "vain babblers" any more, and please don't imply that we are only "pretending" to be Christians.


So I'd like to clarify a couple of things: First, despite Dr. Falk's verbal reassurance, most of the contributors at BioLogos clearly have no clue "why this issue is so important." It's painfully obvious that theology is very low on BioLogos's list of priorities. In fact, one of the besetting sins at BioLogos is a blithe lack of concern for some of the most foundational doctrines of Christianity and their implications. I'm thinking especially of the authority and inspiration of Scripture and the doctrine of original sin.

Second, I stand by my statement that the blend of scientific skepticism and moral piety being peddled over at BioLogos isn't authentic Christianity. That's based on the fact that the authority of Scripture and the doctrine of original sin are and always have been deemed Christian essentials by every major branch of the church—and BioLogos does seem very keen to do away with both doctrines.

For example, BioLogos's relentless attack on the historicity of Adam entails an implicit denial of the doctrine of original sin (or in the very best case, a totally different, extrabiblical re-imagination of how humanity fell). Dr. Falk himself rejects the views of those who believe in the historicity of Adam and the Fall. In his reply to Dawkins he seems to be pleading for patience as they seek a way to humor the minority in the BioLogos community who crave the "comfort" of believing all humanity descended from a single pair—not a specially-created Adam and Eve, mind you, but a pair of humanoids who evolved from the higher primates. I thought that part of his post came across as especially condescending and dismissive. You can decide for yourself whether I'm reading too much attitude into it.

In any case, his rejection of the historicity of Adam and the Genesis account of original sin simply isn't consistent with biblical and historic Christianity. The doctrine of original sin is and always has been the starting point of Christian soteriology and the doctrine of atonement. Ecumenical councils, Catholic Church councils, and mainstream Protestants (including Calvinists and evangelical Arminians alike) have always explicitly, emphatically, and repeatedly affirmed original sin as a cardinal doctrine of the Christian faith. Denying original sin is the identifying mark of Pelagians, rank heretics, and quasi-Christian cults.

The authority, inspiration, and inerrancy of Scripture is a matter of similar import, and this too has been the subject of sustained and systematic attack at BioLogos. Remember, in their president's own words, BioLogos "exists in no small part to marginalize this view" (i.e., the view "that Adam and Eve were created with apparent age"). That goal obviously will require a systematic campaign to undermine Christians' confidence in the Genesis account, starting with an open attack on evangelical convictions regarding biblical inerrancy.

Which of course is precisely what the team at BioLogos are currently doing.

BioLogos is by no means the first group in church history to attack the foundations of the Christian faith in the Name of Christ—shamelessly pleading for charity and acceptance as true believers from the very saints whose faith they are determined to dismantle. (Read the saga of Arius and Athanasius if you want a gripping tale of doctrinal intrigue and heresy in the name of Christian brotherhood. It'll cure you of thinking it's uncharitable to take a hard-line stance against heresy.)

In short, I don't apologize for saying that the worldview BioLogos promotes is a challenge to—and by no means an affirmation of—the authentic, biblical, and historic Christian faith.

I'm certain that fact will become more and more obvious the more material BioLogos publishes. But for those still in doubt, here's a simple test: Apply their Genesis hermeneutic consistently to the bodily resurrection of Christ (or the deity of Christ, for that matter), and see what you come up with. Then ask how reasonable it is to accord the BioLogos worldview the right hand of Christian fellowship.

Over at the Grace to You blog Travis Allen has posted a response to yesterday's BioLogos piece. Check it out.

Also, Fred Butler has weighed in here, replete with a quotation from Mr. Miagi.




Phil's signature

141 comments:

Alen Basic said...

Looks like your post has had a heart attack or something...

Anyways, I think you hit the nail on the head with regards to applying their hermeneutic to other parts of scripture.

What ever happened to authorial intent?

Phil Johnson said...

Yeah, I dunno what happened. I edited a typo in Blogger, and when I saved, it erased every link in the post.

I've fixed it now.

Michael King said...

I don't understand BioLogos' reason to exist. I would just rather be a rock star (the wilder sort too) if I thought they way they did. Why even bring Christ or the Bible into it at all? Just be a simple Darwinist and live like you want until you die.

Preston said...

Technically, you misquoted him. He did not say, "BioLogos 'exists in no small part to marginalize' belief in the Genesis account within the Church."

He did say, "Option #1 is the standard argument put forward by those who believe in a young earth created by God in six twenty-four hour days less than 10,000 years ago. BioLogos exists in no small part to marginalize this view from the Church."

Option #1 being "that Adam and Eve were created with apparent age".

...just sayin'.

I hope your whole belief in the Genesis account isn't wrapped up in the apparent age of Adam & Eve.

Phil Johnson said...

Preston: "I hope your whole belief in the Genesis account isn't wrapped up in the apparent age of Adam & Eve."

Well, of course that's not the sum and substance of my belief in the early chapters of Genesis. But certainly a key aspect of the Genesis account is the fact that Adam was specially created--a man fashioned in God's image, not the embryo of a hominid ape couple or whatever. And Eve, also a special creation, was old enough to have conjugal relations. As such, they must have some "appearance of age."

That is, at least, what Genesis says, so any agenda to "marginalize" that as an "untenable" view is by definition a scheme to marginalize faith in the Genesis account. So I did not misrepresent Falk's goal. Though it's unlikely that Falk himself would purposely state the goal in quite such plain terms, he did come very close in his message to Dawkins.

Emanuel Elizondo said...

Great response. I thought the "R.I.P. Kermit" is hilarious.

donsands said...

Thanks for challenging the Biologos group.

Their teachings go farther then other Christians who saw Darwins work as plausible, such as BB Warfield, I expect.

If any of the Biologos crew do come over, could you please explain Paul's inspired words about Adam:

"Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come."

"For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. ....“The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit."

"For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

olan strickland said...

There is no middle road between the creation account and evolution. To deny the historicity of Adam and his fall along with imputed sin is to do away with one Man's ability to save more than one through imputed righteousness.

The middle of the road is dangerous and deadly. Just look at Phil's graphics!

Johnny Dialectic said...

Didn't this happen 100 years ago? This is just another attempt by Christians with an edumacation to marginalize their "redneck cousins" and (here's the key) show the non-believing world that they're not really rubes; that they shouldn't be classed with "those" kind of ignorant rabble. They want a real "place at the table" with the skeptics. But this always ends badly. The skeptics (like Dawkins) will always (even if its secretly) view this sort with contempt. They may be useful, e.g. in fights over Darwinism at the shool board level, but they will never be accepted. And when their usefulness is over, they'll be cast out of the room altogether (or at the very least told to "quiet down now.")

Zaphon said...

Kudos to Johnny Dialectic...(and I don't give those out liberally to you Mr. Dialectic...:-))

Exactly...this is essentially compromise, and it's the sickeningly pandering type that sees 'Christians' selling their souls to the Devil in order to gain the praise of men.

BioLogos said...

Oh, my word. Mr. Johnson quoted me as saying: "Remember, in their president's own words, BioLogos 'exists in no small part to marginalize' belief in the Genesis account within the Church."

He took seven words of what I really did say,and then added his own words. By adding those words at the end, he turned what I said into something very different than what I really did say.

I know that most of you won't agree with what I said, but I do ask for fair representation.

Darrel Falk,
President, The BioLogos Foundation

Steve Gentry said...

I'm glad BioLogos is out there to provide a sane response to the insane arguments of the young earth crowd. I find their Christianity to be more "authentic" than what I see at TeamPyro. At least they are willing to look at reality as it really is. A young earth is not a tenable position and has been rejected from Augustine to Warfield. Unfortunately, the YEC movement has developed a stranglehold on evangelicalism. Hopefully, BioLogos will have an impact.

DJP said...

BioLogos — Right.

(A) Brackets signify the insertion of words.

(B) Read Phil's comment, above

(C) The view you want to marginalize is what Phil, who is writing the article, believes that the Bible teaches.

(D) He's right.

Citizen Grim said...

Mr. Falk, I'm curious how you address Jesus' assertion in Mark 10:6 that "from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female." Was he speaking poetically? When Christ was speaking of "the beginning of creation," was he really just referring to "whenever sexual reproduction evolved." If so, isn't a bit misleading of him to say it that way?

Tom said...

DJP,

In all fairness to Falk, Phil did not quote him accurately. Reminds me of the type of quotes used in David Hunt's book.

Tom

DJP said...

Falk didn't write "BioLogos exists in no small part to marginalize ...from the Church"?

Steve Gentry said...

DJP

(A) The words inserted in the brackets misrepresent what Falk said.

(B) I've read Phil's comment above - and disagree.

(C) The view that is being marginalized is the view that the YEC interpretation of Genesis is the only view allowed.

(D) He's wrong

Lynda O said...

A young earth is not a tenable position and has been rejected from Augustine to Warfield.

Wrong -- Augustine did believe the earth was young. (He only rejected the part about God creating in six days, instead thought God created everything in an instant of time, even less than six days -- but still only a few thousand years ago.) Calvin and Luther also affirmed a young creation. Warfield (modern times) was unfortunately a compromiser. None of the Christian leaders, until the 19th century, thought anything differently than that the earth was a few thousand years old.

Fred Butler said...

At least they are willing to look at reality as it really is. A young earth is not a tenable position and has been rejected from Augustine to Warfield.

The one thing I find absolutely stunning from these folks is a self imposed myopia of church history. Augustine, in response to the Egyptian 100,000 year chronology of history, dated the creation of Adam as being "not yet 6,000 years ago" in his "City of God" 18.40.

Warfield, God love 'em, was a victim of a Christianized Scottish common sense realism that drove the naturalistic apologetics at Princeton.

I reckon you will respond by citing the Galileo affair next.

DJP said...

Troll-party imported from BioLogos, I'm wondering?

Well, you may not like that Phil has correctly IDed (no pun) the effect of Falk's words, but it's accurate; bracketed rephrasing is a long-standing common practice; Phil's response is on-target and sufficient; and Phil urges folks to go over and read the whole thing.

Oh, wait, I'm wondering - is this the preferred dodge? Spend the whole day crying about a clearly inserted phrase? Yikes, what a weak case it must be.

Citizen Grim said...

Steve wrote: The view that is being marginalized is the view that the YEC interpretation of Genesis is the only view allowed.

You're actually misquoting Falk, yourself. As Falk clearly said, BioLogos exists to marginalize the YEC interpretation of Genesis, not simply to insist that there might be other options. BioLogos wants to eliminate the YEC view as a viable option.

Phil asserts that the YEC interpretation is only faithful interpretation. Thus, from that presupposition, he was paraphrasing Falk fairly and accurately (although Falk would of course disagree, because he is operating under different presuppositions - namely, that the clearest reading of the text is misleading).

donsands said...

"..he turned what I said into something very different than what I really did say." Darrel Falk

What did you really mean? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Chris said...

This crowd at Biologos is essentially no different than all of the compromised half-converted at so-called "Christian" colleges everywhere today. They clearly envy and admire the proudly professing atheists and /or agnostics in their field--the big boys of academia--so why don't they just drop any identification with Christian anything, as it is just holding them back from greater aspirations in their scientific careers. Having taught at one of these so-called Christian colleges for a while, I couldn't help but ask myself this question as I observed so many unbelievers among my colleagues put on the disguise every day and play the game: "these folks have thick vitas and many of them are quite smart; since they have rejected the faith outright and are now so immersed in apostasy, even though some of them aren't as brave as their byronic heroes to declare what they really believe openly, why don't they go out to secular universities, be the athesists they really are, and at least get the most of their careers in this life by making a clean break from that which they don't believe, and which hinders respectability in their field?" Well, I have the same question for the Biologos crowd.

Tom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom said...

DJP wrote:

"Well, you may not like that Phil [misquoted BioLogos, but using misquotes at Pyros] is a long-standing common practice."

Tom

Fred Butler said...

This is what Falk wrote, BioLogos exists in no small part to marginalize this view from the Church. Note the use of the word "this." It is a pronoun that relates to an object near by. In the case of Dr. Falk's article, the previous sentence which reads, Option #1 is the standard argument put forward by those who believe in a young earth created by God in six twenty-four hour days less than 10,000 years ago. Then he writes the statement in question, and follows it by writing, A fundamental part of our mission is to show that Option #1 is not tenable.

Now, with this context, please explain how it was that Phil misrepresented Falk in a Dave Hunt-Gail Riplinger fashion?

DJP said...

Good luck getting calm, adult logic out of our visitors, Fred. I'm getting nowhere.

Caleb Kolstad said...

Keep up the good work here!

David said...

Almost everyone here wants to assign the worst possible motives to those who hold old earth views. Maybe it's really very simple. Maybe those with old earth views simply find the overwhelming evidence against young views to be compelling, regardless of how they feel about the dreaded scientists. Maybe the old earthers just think that the geologists, who are of a variety of faiths, are correct.

Why assign such derogatory and negative motives to your co-religionists?

DJP said...

Say, David, you're in luck! I have your answer! Then you won't have to ask again. Isn't that great?

Here it is. Ready?

For the reasons that we keep repeatedly stating.

There you go. No extra charge.

Fred Butler said...

Why assign such derogatory and negative motives to your co-religionists?

It's called the authority of God's Word, David. You and I have been back and forth about this on other forums.

If we take the BioLogos logic of capitulating to the so-called scientific evidence put forth by the halls of "scholarly academia" over our commitment to the authority of God's Word, well then goof balls like this guy could actually have a voice,

Jesus did not die on cross, says scholar

DJP said...

Well, Fred, if that catches on, maybe one day some credentialed soul will dedicate himself to "marginalize" the view that He did.

Daryl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daryl said...

Love the line about these being difficult times for "educated Christians".

Say what you like about how Phil accurately represented your point, but how you don't like that it's out there for everyone to see...but this insinuation where you imply that only uneducated Christian reject your view, is foolish and sinful.

I pray that you don't walk away from the faith entirely, but with Adam out of the way, there's no call for Christ and no reason not o believe as Pelagius did.

At least, like the Emergent Church, Biologos has quit hiding and come right out with their anti-Christian message.

David said...

Neville Chamberlains, all of them. Orcs, better yet. And while I'm on LOTR, let BioLogos come. There's still one dwarf in Evangelicalism that still draws breath.

I want to read where Dr Falk has confirmed reading Terry Mortenson's and Thane H. Ury's "Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth." Have I missed that?

And troll party: Address the issues of Original Sin and Authority of Scripture. Stay on topic here.

olan strickland said...

The Biologos Forum: BioLogos exists to show that whereas Option #1 runs into trouble with modern science, Option #2 is still a possibility for Christians who hold to a historical Adam and Eve. The only other option for Christians who hold to historicity is Option #1, which smacks of a God who is deceptive (as Harrell points out). The entire context of Harrell’s article—let alone the context of BioLogos’s hundreds of other posts—ought to make it clear that we do not believe Option #1 is viable…not in today’s world (emphasis added).

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Old Earthers: The egg or else God is deceptive!

Young Earthers: The chicken because that is what God has revealed in His Word

Old Earthers: God can't do that or else He will have a one day old chicken that appears to be older than he really is. That is deception.

Young Earthers: God can do that and He did have a one day old chicken fully mature with the capability of procreation. The first chicken did appear older but we are told to not judge by appearance. It isn't deceptive because God told us this is how He did it.

jbboren said...

Chris said, "...so why don't they just drop any identification with Christian anything..."

They will, Chris. Give them time. (Re-read Romans 1:18-24 again, if you need somebody else's word on this.)

Phil Johnson said...

BioLogos (Dr. Falk): "he turned what I said into something very different than what I really did say"

My concern is with what you mean by the words you used, and I would welcome any clarification from you that reconciles what you said for Dawkins' sake with what you say for the benefit of evangelicals. (Especially if you would be willing to make a clear and cogent affirmation of the authority and infallibility of God's Word--and send that statement to Dawkins as well as posting it here.)

Because I think a simple, objective comparison of the claims you address to to Dawkins with the protest you have made here perfectly illustrates the untenability of your middle-ground concept.

I.e., when you speak to Dawkins, you seem very eager to assure him that of course you don't really take Genesis seriously as divine revelation. You want to marginalize those who think the Genesis account of creation is a true description of what happened. It's one of the foundational priorities of your organization to convince Christians that such a view is untenable.

Yet when you speak to evangelicals, you want them to credit you with a high view of Scripture which you manifestly don't hold. You want us to accept implicitly that you have as high a view of the Bible as anyone. You insist we should take your word for that, ignoring all evidence to the contrary in what you write to people like Dawkins. Isn't that the very hermeneutic you say you oppose when it comes to the book of Genesis?

You simply can't have it both ways.

And I'm genuinely curious: What will you say to Dawkins and his ilk when they bring up the question of bodily resurrection?

David said...

"For the reasons that we keep repeatedly stating."

Which reasons? Which specific reasons are you referring to here? Your answer does not explain anything at all.

A Christian could look at what a geologist says and find it convincing just because the evidence is convincing. It doesn't meant that "they are sickeningly pandering types selling their souls to the Devil in order to gain the praise of men" or anything else nasty and unpleasant. They don't have to care one bit about the praises of men. Maybe they just find that arguments compelling. Why the need to be so ugly about it? I honestly don't understand.

David @7:56 am,

Orcs?! You refer to your fellow Christians who disagree about the age of the earth as orcs? Are you going to chop off their heads or run them through with your sword? Wow, you people are really filled with hate.


(I'm the first David, not the David who left a comment about orcs.)

Pooka said...

Um, regarding age...

Isn't it a construct? I'm wondering if God has been punching a clock since eternity past.

Man, chicken, tree, rock, whatever, when they were created, THEN they began aging. So a one-day-old chicken is only one day old because it was made yesterday.

Where's the deception in that? Why would God make an egg, or a baby for that matter and leave it at that? Babies and eggs can't grow themselves into adults.

I kinda like to think that one of these makes perfect sense and the other is utterly ridiculous.

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

As Travis Allen mentioned over at gty’s blog, Biologos’ statement "About Us" belies their real beliefs. Hello! Is this not the case with all wolves in sheep’s clothing and how they operate?

Let's do some tricky, false advertising to see how many unsuspecting fools we can catch in our web of deceit, but let’s pretend we hold to such truths as inerrancy, then do our best to undermine it at every turn.



Excellent post as usual, Phil!

DJP said...

DavidWhich reasons? Which specific reasons are you referring to here? Your answer does not explain anything at all.

Oh no, it explains and answers it absolutely fully.

See, I have this rule: when someone (A) won't deal seriously with something written the first time, (B) keeps asking stupid questions; and (C) demands that people keep repeating themselves over and over again, as if he is the focus and center of their day...

... I don't.

Ken said...

All this discussion is very helpful in getting down to the bottom line issues.

Phil or Dan -
1. What do you guys think of the John Sailhamer view (Genesis Unbound)?

I was surprised that in Tim Challies synopsis of Al Mohler's talk at Ligonier,(which you referenced) it seems Dr. Mohler did not mention the Sailhamer view. (Maybe he did, but Tim did not mention it. I cannot find the sermon at the Ligonier site - the others appear to be there at this time.)

That view seems to take Adam and Eve as real historical individual figures; but wants to be able to have the possibility that the earth is old. (in between Gen. 1:1 and 1:2, that after verse 1, it is God "preparing the land of Israel")

2. Is it just a new form of the gap-theory?

3. Is it compatible with orthodoxy?

4. Is Intelligent Design Movement of the other Phil Johnson (Darwin on Trial; Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds; Reason in the Balance) compatible with orthodoxy?

I have always thought these books were very helpful, ( I didn't realize until after I read them that that movement is open to millions years of death, pre-Adamic homineds, and local flood); but they don't address the Day issue of Genesis 1-2, etc. But they also don't address the global flood issue; and I found out later that some of these ID folks believe in pre-Adamic hominids.

5. What do you think of Hank Hannegraaf's book, "The Face that Demonstrates the Farce of Evolution"?

Sincerely,
Ken Temple

DJP said...

David, see my 8:18 AM, JUNE 25, 2010 response.

David said...

To all,

I'm not asking about the motives of Biologos, specifically. I'm asking about the motives of generic OEC Christians. Take any random OEC Christian you'd like. Forget about Biologos. You appear to be assigning the worst possible motives to all old earth Christians.

Is this accurate? If so, why do this? I honestly do not believe that this question has been answered.

DJP said...

To all,

It has already been answered, repeatedly. Please, don't waste more time.

Sharon said...

[Dr. Falk] seems to be suggesting that because interpretation by definition has an element of subjectivity to it, everyone is free to interpret however he or she prefers, and everyone's interpretation deserves equal respect.

That's exactly what I get from my non-Christian friends with whom I share the Gospel (including family members). It's quite frustrating until I remember 1 Corinthians 2:14.

A Musician by Grace

Phil Johnson said...

NOTE:

Dr. Falk wrote me privately to request that I change the wording of that sentence near the end with boldface italics. He felt my quotation marks alone weren't sufficient to delineate which words were his and which were mine.

And given fact that the WHOLE phrase after "in their president's own words" is in boldface italics, I take his point. It wasn't clear enough what the expression "his own words" referred to, and the sentence was unintentionally misleading (in a slightly Dave Huntish sort of way, as one commenter pointed out.) I accept the criticism.

So I've made a revision and clarification to the passage Dr. Falk objected to. Here's what I originally wrote:

_____
Remember, in their president's own words, BioLogos "exists in no small part to marginalize" belief in the Genesis account within the Church.
_____

Here's the revision:

_____
Remember, in their president's own words, BioLogos "exists in no small part to marginalize this view" (i.e., the view "that Adam and Eve were created with apparent age"). That, of course, will require a systematic campaign to undermine Christians' confidence in the Genesis account--especially evangelical's belief in biblical inerrancy.

That, of course, is precisely what the team at BioLogos are doing.
______________

David said...

You're right. My questions was answered. With hatred.

Citizen Grim said...

You're right. My questions was answered. With hatred.

Ah, I remember when I used to think that everyone who disagreed with me hated me...

DJP said...

Phil, the rewording leaves us in exactly the same place, contentwise.

DJP said...

Predictably, David reaches for the unthinking man's trump-card.

Mark B. Hanson said...

On apparent age and God's "deception", one would have to make the same accusation about Jesus' turning water into wine. After all, wine starts as grapes which take a full season to grow, more time for fermentation. And the "best wine" is usually aged for awhile.

So the wine Jesus made had an apparent age of a half-year or more. I guess in his first miracle, our savior deceived the wedding party. Hardly a Christian thing to do...

Phil Johnson said...

David: "Forget about Biologos. You appear to be assigning the worst possible motives to all old earth Christians."

Actually what I've been saying is simply that their view is a bad view and it undermines faith.

I don't pretend to know anyone's motives, except for what they themselves say. My correspondence with Dr. Falk leads me to conclude that he is a genuinely nice man, very likable and (as far as I can discern) totally sincere. But I try not to assign motives, and if there's ever any question about someone's "motives," I try always to use words like "it seems"; "as far as I can tell"; or the equivalent.

When the president of BioLogos expressly states that one of his organization's goals is to "marginalize" the straightforward sense of he opening chapters of Scripture, I figure regardless of anyone's motives, that's a sinister agenda. Are those who are marginalizing the plain-sense view of Scripture deceivers or self-decieved? I'll leave it to God to sort that out.

But I will say in answer to your question that I regard "old-earth creationism" as a serious compromise, and I regard any denial of the historicity of Adam as rank heresy. Regardless of what the motives behind it might be.

Citizen Grim said...

So, old-earth David, let me get this straight:

- When it comes to the Genesis account (and supporting material elsewhere in scripture), you think we should view it primarily as literary poetic metaphor?

- But when it comes to the other David's middle earth orc metaphor, you choose to read that as literally as possible, and wonder whether head-choppings are in store?

Beyond parody.

David said...

"Predictably, David reaches for the unthinking man's trump-card."

Really? Look at the words the have been used to describe OECer.

Orc?

GrammaMack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Respectabiggle said...

Still waiting for BioLogos or others that share those beliefs to explain that their denial of Scripture stops at Genesis 3. Or maybe it stops at Genesis 10. Or does it stop anywhere?

John said...

"[Legitimacy of opposing interpretions] may seem a nice-sounding platitude in our current postmodern context, but it is by no means a biblical value."

Or even common sense. Which is why Scientism never affords Christianity this "grace".

Sir Aaron said...

@Phil: Thanks for this series. It has served to strengthen my conviction and encourage me to stand firm in what is obviously the narrow road.

@David: (1)Your question has already been answered. (2) You've already admitted that the only reason you're even here is to satisfy your voyeuristic appetite. Therefore, what you think has or hasn't been answered is not important.

Sir Aaron said...

For Strategem and Dialetic:

But I will say in answer to your question that I regard "old-earth creationism" as a serious compromise, and I regard any denial of the historicity of Adam as rank heresy. Regardless of what the motives behind it might be.

As I said in the last thread. So put me down for "Ditto."

John said...

Oh, yeah, the infantile "makes God deceptive" argument. Sigh. As if God is somehow under mandate to do everything in a way that makes the conclusions of science accurate. D'oh!

This is a blatant "absent major premise" argument. Please, out of respect for thinking people, can we all just agree not to throw this one around anymore?

John said...

BTW, is anyone else having as much as I am in savoring the irony of Falk's complaint that Phil is misrepresenting what he wrote. I'm just saying...

DJP said...

John: on that "I blame God for my false conclusions when I don't believe what He tells me" dodge, check THIS out.

Mr. Fosi said...

@Dan: I like the post you linked. May put forth a potential problem with your parable? I'm thinking along the lines of a person who might say "Ah yes, but there isn't just one note is there? There are many creation stories, some of which pre-date Genesis."

Would it not be more apt to say that the owner wrote/posted the note, then others came by and wrote/posted their own claims? Or perhaps that the owner didn't write his note as soon as he was done arranging the room, but rather waited until others had posted their notes before posting his?

Mike said...

Brilliant...the theological version of a throat punch. Well done sir.

Crystal said...

I completely agree with what David (the one that didn't use the word "orcs" to describe others) said, and I appreciate his courage in engaging such a hostile crowd. This spews of hatered.

Why should people believe in God in the first place? Because it's convenient? Because their mamma told them to? No. Because it is truth. God wants our minds too, and the reality is that SO many struggle with reconciling the substantial evidence for evolution with their desire to be faithful Christians - not just the people at BioLogos. These people (myself included) believe in evolution not because it's convenient, or because they were told to, but because it appears to be *true*.

One last note: Whatever your beliefs about how humans arrived on Earth, evolution - a process of change in organisms over time - happens every day in measurable, observable ways. The devil is surely in the details, but don't throw the baby (or your neighbors) out with the bathwater.

Steve Gentry said...

Lynda/Fred

I suspect that if Augustine were alive today he would embrace the findings of the scientific community and find a way to interpret the Genesis account such that science and faith would both be left intact. I base my opinion on the following two quotes from "On the Literal Meaning of Genesis" by Augustine:

In matters that are obscure and far beyond our vision, even in such as we may find treated in Holy Scripture, different interpretations are sometimes possible without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such a case, we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search of truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it. That would be to battle not for the teaching of Holy Scripture but for our own, wishing its teaching to conform to ours, whereas we ought to wish ours to conform to that of Sacred Scripture. (Vol. 1, CH. 18:37)

and

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, ... about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. ... If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? (Vol. 1, CH. 19:39)

The YEC position is an embarrassment to the Christian community. Just because I interpret the first two chapters of Genesis differently than you doesn't make me a compromiser (as you accused Warfield of being) or mean that I hold a low view of Scripture.

David said...

Phil,

Thank you for a clear, direct answer. No joke. Thank you.

Warren Lotter said...

Crystal,

Do you wish to clarify between micro and macro evolution in regards to your statement: "evolution - a process of change in organisms over time - happens every day in measurable, observable ways."

If not please point me to just one instance of macro-evolution I can physically observe today.

David said...

Warren,

Give me one example of a species being poofed into existence out of nothingness that I can physically observe today.

Fred Butler said...

The YEC position is an embarrassment to the Christian community. Just because I interpret the first two chapters of Genesis differently than you doesn't make me a compromiser (as you accused Warfield of being) or mean that I hold a low view of Scripture.

There aren't multiple ways of interpreting Genesis. There is only one. This is like saying there are multiple ways of interpreting the Resurrection narratives. I would imagine as a YEC there are lots of individuals who claim to be Christians that I embarrass. They probably don't care for my views of homosexuals either.

DJP said...

Mr. Fossi, those are clever points, but you're moving my parable in the direction of an allegory. As with most parables, I had one point to make: refusing to accept God's controlling grid, then blaming the resultant disconnect, is disingenuous at best.

However, to yours, I'd point out: God didn't wait until all the others were given to give His "version." He told Adam. The rest are the derivatives.

Lynda O said...

I suspect that if Augustine were alive today he would embrace the findings of the scientific community and find a way to interpret the Genesis account such that science and faith would both be left intact.

Speculate all you want about what you think Augustine would think in today's world, that does not change the facts or the point of the original reference. It's easy for anyone to make the claim that "so-and-so famous theologian" from the past certainly would believe what I believe if they lived now instead of then. But so what?

God's word alone does not change. God's word stands the test of time and outlasts man's ideas. For the foolishness of God is greater than the wisdom of man.

Someone here claimed that the old earth view had always been believed, from the time of Augustine on down through the years. That simply is not so.

donsands said...

"The YEC position is an embarrassment to the Christian community." -Stephen

An embarrassment? Why is that?

If so, then Moses' inspired words from the Lord are an embarrassment?

You can not agree with the Scripture, but to say those who do are "an embarrassment to the Christian community" is a bit over the top.

Not that there aren't those Christians who do show their immaturity in the the Scriptures, when discussing Genesis 1, becasue there are.

Johnny Dialectic said...

Sir Aaron, when did I deny the historicity or recency of Adam? Or of The Fall? I do not. Do you wish to drop the heresy bit now?

donsands said...

"This spews of hatered." -Crystal

That's a lovely statement.

Hey, there's no hatred here. Honest debate, and fervent convictions perhaps, but not spewing hatred.

I'm aquainted with hatred in the Church, and this doesn't even come close.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Phil Johnson: "But I try not to assign motives, and if there's ever any question about someone's "motives," I try always to use words like "it seems"; "as far as I can tell"; or the equivalent."

I'm glad to hear that.

That's a very helpful approach.

With regards to Phil Johnson's post, I have to concur with him. I'm glad that both he and John MacArthur and Fred Butler and many others (like Steve Hays and the Triabloguers) have tackled the theistic evolutionists at BioLogos head-on.

Mr. Fosi said...

@Dan: By definition (dictionary.com), a parable is allegory. I get what you mean: you had a certain point to make with the parable and don't want to be dragged off course. I understand/like the point you were making.

I brought up the alternatives because I wonder if you can give the parable a broader application. As is, it only works if the johnny-come-latelies see only one note on the door. This certainly works for Bio-Logos folks who (to my knowledge) don't try to drag other creation stories into the debate.

I also roger you regarding the derivative nature of the creation story. However, people I know who debate the beginning of Genesis often quickly refer to other, competing creation narratives that apparently circulated before Genesis was put down in writing. Of course, I haven't yet been given one that pre-dates 1800 BC because I haven't really tried to nail them down... I suppose I should.

I know I'm skirting the edge of derailment here, so we can move to email if you like.

Chris said...

Crystal (and David):

"hatred?"

Frankly, your defense of evolution "spews of hatred" towards God and His Truth. Do you consider THAT reality when you embrace and defend a Godless system of belief that hates holy scripture?

Warren Lotter said...

David? Crystal?

Hmmm, so you don't have one.
And here I was thinking I'd be presented with a directly measureable, observable instance TODAY that would undeniably shake my faith in creation to the core.

So it seems that with regards to macro-evolution all you have is presuppostional inferences to something that MAY have happened in the past.

David, you go ahead and believe that. I believe the literal translation of the Genesis account where God created all kinds ex nihilo. A one time event in the past. I will readily admit that I believe this by faith, but contrary to what you may think it's not blind faith.

Perhaps it's time you admitted that too. You see by your own admission 'science' has just scratched the surface and it's possible that future discoveries shake the very foundations of what we believe as scientific fact today. It's happening in relation to the Big bang. In fact the supposed evolution of our brain might cause our synapses to fire differently so that in 1000 years humans will look at the current theories with mild bemusement.

And yet you so vehemently believe them as absolute truth today. Ever wondered why? Read Romans, it'll tell you why.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

PJ: "In any case, his rejection of the historicity of Adam and the Genesis account of original sin simply isn't consistent with biblical and historic Christianity."

For all readers,

Do you think it's legitimate and valid for someone to claim that they uphold the inerrancy of Scripture while simultaneously rejecting the historicity of Adam?

Warren Lotter said...

And David,"poofed into existence" doesn't carry with it a sense of mocking disdain (hatred)...

Bobby Grow said...

According to Romans 5 and I Cor. 15; if someone denies the historicity of the first Adam, then theo-logically that same "someone" denies the historicity of the second Adam --- since this is the major premise of Paul's arguement in Romans 5 and I Cor. 15.

I guess, in general, the folks at BioLogos are sincerely challenged in following the theo-logic of the whole counsel of scripture on this most salient point!

Escovado said...

Fred,

"I would imagine as a YEC there are lots of individuals who claim to be Christians that I embarrass. They probably don't care for my views of homosexuals either."

Heck, as a YEC I embarass a lot of fellow YECs for my views on the speed of light issue. =D

SandMan said...

@Warren: When I asked David why he visits this blog in another comment section a couple of days ago he had this to say:

I suppose that it's partly because I find folk's ability to hold onto YEC fascinating. How can one ignore what we know about the natural world? I am unable to do such a thing, and it leaves me wondering how others can pull off this feat.

I also find it riveting, and a bit disturbing, to to watch YECer savage OECer. The worst thing about Christianity is Christians, and that's never clearer than when YECer rip into those who are just trying to keep their faith alive in the face of what we've learned about the natural world. "NO COMPROMISE!", they shout. It's like seeing a highly disfunctional family on a reality TV show. It's a guilty pleasure to watch.


And he thinks we are hateful.

Tom said...

Phil wrote:

"It wasn't clear enough what the expression 'his own words' referred to, and the sentence was unintentionally misleading (in a slightly Dave Huntish sort of way, as one commenter pointed out.) I accept the criticism."

Thank you, Phil, for you concern for accuracy and precision. Editing your statement forces Falk and BioLogos to deal with the issues instead of tripping over your misleading attribution.

And for DJP, you need to relax. You're like a rabid dog that bites the hand of the vet who is trying to treat it.

Sir Aaron said...

Johnny:

You obviously have challenges in reading comprehension. What Phil said is pretty much what I said. OEC is severe compromise (which I believe is very close to heresy) and everything else is heresy.

Got it?

Sir Aaron said...

There aren't multiple ways of interpreting Genesis. There is only one. This is like saying there are multiple ways of interpreting the Resurrection narratives. I would imagine as a YEC there are lots of individuals who claim to be Christians that I embarrass. They probably don't care for my views of homosexuals either.

Amen.

David said...

Warren,

Hmmm, so you don't have an example of physically observed creation from nothing. So, why is it such a big deal if I can't show you an event that occurs over millions of years? You can't show me "ex nihilo" creation. So, if "physical observation" this is the test, then there's no reason why I shouldn't reject your postion.

"So it seems that with regards to macro-evolution all you have is presuppostional inferences to something that MAY have happened in the past."

Er, no, what we have are testable hypotheses. That's all I ask of YEC. Testing of hypotheses. Science can not always tell you how things work or what happened. But with hypothesis testing, it does a pretty good job of telling us how something doesnt' work or what didn't happen.

As an aside, what on earth is wrong with "poofed into existence"? Is this not an accurate description of your hypothesis? There were no animals, and then poof, there were animals. If you prefer, I shall use the phrase ex nihilo. It doesn't matter to me.

David said...

"And yet you so vehemently believe them as absolute truth today."?

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Don't you know how science works? I believe that you are projecting here. I'm not the uncompromising absolutist here.

David said...

"There aren't multiple ways of interpreting Genesis. There is only one."

Well, then, there is a very, very high probability that the Bible is wrong.

MSC said...

Steve Gentry,
Why do you believe, "The YEC position is an embarrassment to the Christian community"? Is it because it does not comport with the findings of modern science? I assume that is the reason.

Let me ask another question of you. Do you believe that all physical phenomena (i.e. all non-metaphysical phenomena) has an explanation that science has either already discovered or is theoretically able to discover?

Bobby Grow said...

David,

You like all the attention don't you?

I'm not sure why you're getting so much; you're not a very serious guy, and you throw out all of this anecdotal nonsense --- it would be embarassing if you weren't so anonymous I suppose (I mean for you).

David said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Greg said...

Warren Lotter;

I say this in love, brother…

Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200. Go directly to YEC Biochemist, Todd Wood’s blog and learn something about the evidence for evolution. According to him, it’s real and it’s plentiful. http://toddcwood.blogspot.com/2009/09/truth-about-evolution.html

Like he does, you may choose to reject it, but your all-too-commonly-heard challenge to David and Crystal doesn’t cut it any more. Their silence didn’t mean you won that argument.

D Hoff said...

Lots of the people at BioLogos don't deny a historical Adam. A particular view of the age of the earth doesn't necessarily entail a particular view of Adam.
For example, http://biologos.org/blog/a-historical-adam/

Those issues need to be distinguished in these discussions. I'd really like to see some interaction with that article. Not that I agree with all of it, but it raises many other biblical issues that need to be dealt with, particularly the nature of covenant headship.

Phil and Dan,
Someone asked about the Sailhamer view, and I didn't see either of you comment. I'd be interested to hear what you think about it. John Piper has said he is inclined to it.

Mike Riccardi said...

"There aren't multiple ways of interpreting Genesis. There is only one."

Well, then, there is a very, very high probability that the Bible is wrong
.

There ya go.

Lynda O said...

Someone asked about the Sailhamer view, and I didn't see either of you comment. I'd be interested to hear what you think about it. John Piper has said he is inclined to it.

Does anyone else know about this Sailhamer view? Apparently it's a modified gap theory idea. I just googled and found more details at: http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v14/i3/rules.asp and also found an online reference to John Piper's acceptance of this view.

Sadly, why am I not surprised to hear this concerning John Piper?

David said...

There ya go...where?

DJP said...

I don't have a comment about Sailhamer because I haven't read his presentation yet.

Mike Riccardi said...

There ya go...where?

Into apostasy.

The epistemology of OECism is inherently an unbiblical (or non-Christian) epistemology, and you have so wonderfully illustrated that. Scripture takes a back seat to scientific theory and empirical observation.

A Christian epistemology, however, requires that fallen man's observation of fallen creation be submitted to the infallible Word of God. Scripture surpasses naturalistic observation and study in both integrity and authority -- and thus as a reliable source of knowledge -- because it is perfect, incapable of erring, as it is God's own Word.

Any other theory of knowledge militates against the sufficiency of Scripture. And if you're OK with that, we've got bigger problems to discuss than your view of the age of the earth.

Johnny Dialectic said...

Sir Aaron, don't look now, but you are, as they say, hoist on your own petard. Here's a primer on reading comprehension, focusing in the use of the comma. Phil's words, as quoted by you:

I regard "old-earth creationism" as a serious compromise, and I regard any denial of the historicity of Adam as rank heresy.

That pesky little comma is your downfall, Sir. Phil reserves the term "heresy" for the denial of the historicity of Adam. (Unless, Phil, you want to put the old earth view of Barnhouse, Torrey, etc., on the same level. We can talk about that if you do).

You, Sir, have staked out any OEC view as, in your opinion, heretical (or "nearly so" which is a nonsense statement, like "nearly pregnant"). That's not where Phil goes, so you're on your own. And it's cold out there.

Because you're just flat wrong. You don't understand the gap position, and don't seem to care to try. It's been held by fundamental Christians who believe in inerrancy and reject evolution.

So as it stands now, yours is not just a reading comprehension issue; it's something worse. I think I mentioned pride trumping truth. Allow yourself to study the issue out, and drop the heresy bunk. In this context, it's an abuse of the word.

Warren Lotter said...

Greg,

In love..that's too funny.

I wasn't trying to win the argument and I think you missed my point: I don't live with my head in the sand but I've been around long enough to know that 'Science' by definition is in flux. The apparent scientific wisdom of today is not... urrmm 'fixed'.
Also you seem to allude to 'evidence' as an end. Evidence, unless interpreted is meaningless. And all interpretation is not without bias, no?

Daryl said...

Johnny D,

It's likely that I, as well, don't completely understand the gap theory either.

That said, I've just been listening to a series by Tom Chantry, on Genesis 1-3 and he made what I believe to be a solid argument against that theory.

After God says "Let there be light", we are told that there was evening and there was morning. The first day.

If the gap theory is correct, that couldn't have been the first day. And, the whole time in the gap had to have happened with no light and no land.

I think the point about the first day is conclusive on it's own. Add 5 thousand years in the gap if you like, but do it within the confines of that first 24 hour day.
It doesn't work.

Again, I make no claim to understand the gap theory, but if there is a gap, it had to have happened without time, without light and without land.

David said...

Mike,

"Into apostasy."

Oh well. So it goes. Into apostasy it is. At least apostacy doesn't sound quite as harsh as some of the other words and phrases that have been tossed around here.

I've always been puzzled that positions that humans are falible, imperfect, fallen and so forth, but scripture is infallible. Last time I checked, fallible, imperfect and fallen humans wrote the Bible. Not sure how you get an infalliable, perfect and error-free product from such creatures. Not sure why we're not allowed to test the proposition that the document is infallible. But I understand these things don't bother others here, so I guess that's that. I know the answer is some variation on "miracle", so I won't argue the point.


Warren,

"And all interpretation is not without bias, no?"

...Thus proving that we can't know anything about anything. Didn't figure you for some sort of post-modern relativist. Fascinating.

Sir Aaron said...

Johnny:

You're using a false comparison, of course. You can be nearly in San Diego without actually being there just as you can be near heresy. A serious compromise is, IMO, approaching but not yet heresy.

And I do understand the gap theory (although it has multiple different variations). It's emminently stupid. The gap theory rests on Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 as being some unknown amount of time (and because of evolutionary influence, commonly believed to be millions or billions of years). But the problem, of course, is that at that point the earth is formless, without light, without land, without animals, without plants. So then the Gap theory would have to acknowledge that since Genesis 1:3, the earth is relatively young, that is only thousands of years old.

All OEC is approaching the doorstep of heresy. Some of it actually is. Period.

But don't take my word for it. After all, I'm no Hebrew scholar either.

Barbara said...

Thassa lotta roadkill there.

Guess they weren't sufficiently "evolved" yet.

Stuart B said...

"There aren't multiple ways of interpreting Genesis. There is only one. This is like saying there are multiple ways of interpreting the Resurrection narratives."

In. What. Way?

Genesis. God created the world. Resurrection. Jesus rose from the dead. Both Pyro and BioLogos are in agreement right there, on this point. Both say the Scriptures is the final authority.

But what BioLogos is saying is that YOUR interpretation is not final authority, and Pyro, instead of replying that "Scripture is final authority", because that would lead to both groups coming to a common consensus, instead say that THEIR opinion is final authority.

That about right? Is that all of where this thread has gone?

Mike Riccardi said...

Oh well. So it goes. Into apostasy it is. At least apostacy [sic] doesn't sound quite as harsh as some of the other words and phrases that have been tossed around here.

Let me help you with that.

Hebrews 6:4, 6 - For in the case of those who have...fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

Hebrews 10:26-31 - For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge His people." It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

2 Peter 2:20-22 - For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "A do returns to its own vomit," and, "A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire."

Jude 10 (which I think is particularly apposite) - But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.

I've always been puzzled that positions that humans are falible [sic], imperfect, fallen and so forth, but scripture is infallible.

Makes sense. You're fallible after all.

Last time I checked, fallible, imperfect and fallen humans wrote the Bible.

Interesting. Where'd you check?

Not sure how you get an infalliable [sic], perfect and error-free product from such creatures.

Let me help with that, too. 2 Peter 1:21: "No prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."

(Continued next comment)

Mike Riccardi said...

Not sure why we're not allowed to test the proposition that the document is infallible.

One the one hand, you're entirely entitled to test it. The problem is, you have no surer of a measuring rod for truth than the Word of God itself. So, the only epistemological authority by which to test Scripture is Scripture itself. There's no other reliable source of knowledge.

"Circular!" you cry. Perhaps, but not the logically fallacious kind. It's the kind of "circular" that doesn't argue that God exists, or that what He says goes. It doesn't argue that because God Himself doesn't concede that point. God never presents Himself as a proposition to be decided over. He asserts, "I AM WHO I AM." You never get to tell God, "Wait a sec, let me see if You really do exist." (Which, by the way is hysterical, because you go to His creation to evaluate whether He exists.

What you're asking permission to do is on the order of asking to measure a meter-stick.

I know the answer is some variation on "miracle", so I won't argue the point.

Yeah. I guess those Sadducees had a point, then, huh? A supernatural God performing supernatural acts?! I mean, how anti-intellectual!

It wasn't until just now, as I finished this comment and re-read some of your earlier comments that I recognized that you aren't a Christian. I had been answering your questions as if you were an apostate when really you haven't defected from anything. You still remain dead in your sins.

I invite you to repent of your notion that you're more clever than God and His Word, David. For all hostility you've both given and received, no group of folks would be happier to see you repent and be reconciled to Christ than this group right here. How about it? All your sin and all the sure-to-come punishment that it deserves, in exchange for knowing and loving and serving the most wonderful, satisfying, and enjoyable Person the Earth has ever hosted. Question marks, cynicism, and hostility for Truth, joy, and peace.

Johnny Dialectic said...

Obviously you're not, Sir. Best to rely on those who are.

And my goodness. So it's not just stupid. It's eminently stupid. That R. A. Torrey, what a dope. Barnhouse? Idiot. Spurgeon? Dunce. But they were so obviously close to being heretical.

So then the Gap theory would have to acknowledge that since Genesis 1:3, the earth is relatively young

Gasp! That's exactly what it does hold! And you figured this out for yourself?

Now perhaps you start to see that there is no way it is anywhere close to heresy. That, again, abuses the word. It makes you sound foolish. Reserve your fire for those who actually deny historical Adam, etc. Then you will have used your time wisely, and for a good cause.

Daryl:

After God says "Let there be light", we are told that there was evening and there was morning. The first day. If the gap theory is correct, that couldn't have been the first day.

Why not? It is the first day of the re-creation. Everything from verse 3 on is recent, 24 hour day re-creation. There is nothing in the text to rule that out; indeed, the text mandates precisely this view.

I won't hijack this thread with more on the gap theory. If Phil wants to give it a once over, that would be the time.

If one wishes to study it out (and I have read all the objections to the theory, from Answers in Genesis on, and find them unpersuasive), one may do so. One ought to do so, in order to understand it fully, and keep from sounding eminently stupid when contending with it.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Johnny Dialectic: "And my goodness. So it's not just stupid. It's eminently stupid. That R. A. Torrey, what a dope. Barnhouse? Idiot. Spurgeon? Dunce. But they were so obviously close to being heretical."

"Spurgeon? Dunce." Dat's funny!

Old-Earther Spurgeon gets a weekly posting here on Pyromaniacs. And I don't think Phil Johnson or John MacArthur would extol Spurgeon as much as they do if he was "so obviously close to being heretical."

Bobby Grow said...

Dedicated to David BioLogos,

"But many things can be meant by the word "God." For this reason, there are many kinds of theologies. There is no man who does not have his own god or gods as the object of his highest desire and trust, or as the basis of his deepest loyalty and commitment. There is no one who is not to this extent also a theologian. There is, moreover, no religion, no philosophy, no world view that is not dedicated to some such divinity. Every world view, even that disclosed in the Swiss and American national anthems, presupposes a divinity interpreted in one way or another and worshiped to some degree, whether wholeheartedly or superficially. There is no philosophy that is not to some extent also theology. Not only does this fact apply to philosophers who desire to affirm --- or who, at least, are ready to admit--- that divinity, in a positive sense, is the essence of truth and power of some kind of highest principle; but the same truth is valid even for thinkers denying such a divinity, for such a denial would in practice merely consist in transferring an identical dignity and function to another object. Such an alternative object might be "nature," creativity, or an unconscious and amorphous will to life. It might also be "reason," progress, or even a redeeming nothingness into which man would be destined to disappear. Even such apparently "godless" theologies are theologies." (Karl Barth, "Evangelical Theology: An Introduction," 3-4)

The moral, David and BiLogos: True Evangelical Theology starts with Christ and ends with Christ; you can certainly call what you're doing critical thinking, and even theology. But the consequence of your intellectual commitments does not unfortunately lead you to doing "Evangelical Theology;" only because you have capitulated to worldviews that are grounded in what Barth calls "reason, progress, or even a redeeming nothingness." How ironic that I quote Barth, eh.

donsands said...

"Thassa lotta roadkill there.

Guess they weren't sufficiently "evolved" yet."

Very nice. Likin' that.

I remember my first time to Florida in 1971, as I drove through I'd see these dead armadillos. It was really incredible for me to see these dead animals laying along side the road.

In Maryland we have mainly squirrels, but also ground hogs, deer, raccoons, a few foxes, and occasionally a cat, and very rare a dog.

Sir Aaron said...

Johnny:

Obviously, I don't care if you think I look foolish. Perhaps you should save your breath and your time in telling me how to spend my time and effort.

Few OEC hold exclusively to the Gap theory, because it is, after all, pointless. Since plants, animals, humans, air, light, oceans, marine life and all that matters came after the formless period and during the literal six days, there's not much point in talking about how old the earth was in its formless state. Most OEC holds the position that the earth...all of it, is very old. (Even of the OEC posting here, a minority hold to the Gap theory).

And I'll continue to hold to the position that belief in OEC is wrong and it's knocking at the door of evolution and the historcity of Adam.

That said, I would not break fellowship with an OEC, but rather do everything I could to convince him of his error.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/gap-ruin-reconstruction-theories

Sir Aaron said...

no group of folks would be happier to see you repent and be reconciled to Christ than this group right here

Yes, Amen.

Dom said...

There is some problems with the creation in the bible.

Plantation was created on the third day and the Sun the fourth. You may argue against all evidence that the Universe took billions of years to form and say that vegetation only needed to wait one day for the Sun but would God being perfect not create things in the right sequence ?

Light was created on the first day but the source of light the
Sun was crteated on the fourth.

"And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night".

The moon does not emit its own light. (Quran states this)

Chris said...

Greg,

Go directly to a Bible and then to your knees in repentance for espousing credibility to lies against God's truth--along with David and Crystal. Likewise...Do not pass go, and do not collect 200.

Mike Riccardi said...

This video is a fantastic complement to this post and its thread. I hope the readers will take the time and watch. It's well worth it.

David said...

Well, I see we've moved on to the "only my worldview is the true truth worldview" and the "you'll be eternally damned unless you adopt my views" part of the program. Somehow, these discussions always seem to end the same way. As Harry Chapin used to sing, all my life's a circle. Having reached the inevitable end point, I will bow and exit.

David said...

Almost forgot. I have a poetry recommendation. It's about YECers and OECers. If the link doesn't work, the name of the poem is The Duel by Eugene Field.

http://www3.amherst.edu/~rjyanco94/literature/eugenefield/poems/poemsofchildhood/theduel.html

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bobby Grow said...

David,

Do you claim to be a "believer," a Christian?

It changes the whole dialogue with you; that is if you're a believer or you're not.

Chris said...

David:

If only you esteemed the truth of God's Word as highly as you appear to esteem the wisdom of men--scientists, songwriters, poets.

No thanks to the link. You can keep the poem; I've had enough vacuous, worldly wisdom from poets and songwriters in all my years of college to last a couple of lifetimes. Regrettably, there was a time when I too thought the folly of naturalistic human rationalism was equal with, or even exceeded, God's glorious truth. How grateful I am to the Lord for saving me from my own sinful ignorance.

Mike Riccardi said...

David,

If you'd like to bow out, be my guest. But don't think that that straw man allows you to do so with dignity.

This is not about whether or not people agree with me. It's not "my worldview," nor is it about getting you to "adopt my views." This is about agreeing or disagreeing with your Creator. His views as He's expressed them are what you have to reckon with, and what I'd be happy to persuade you of.

These things are not organic to me, and I do not set myself up as an epistemological authority, like you do. Your worldview forces you to make yourself the authority on and arbiter of truth. Mine does no such thing. I don't make this stuff up as I go along. It's the same message handed down for 2,000 years.

So, this is not the part of the program where I decide that if you don't agree with me that you're going to be eternally damned, as if I derive some personal, narcissistic pleasure from seeing how many people I can get to agree with me. I'm simply a messenger delivering the message I've received and have been commissioned to proclaim.

And, just for good measure, let me remind you of it. Jesus of Nazareth lived 2,000 years ago, claimed to be God incarnate, performed miracles to back up those assertions, the capstone of them all being His resurrection from the dead on the third day after His death, exactly as both He Himself and prophets centuries before Him predicted. He died to pay the penalty for the sins of those who would believe in Him alone for their righteousness before a Holy God, before whom they are condemned because of their sin. God accepted that payment and demonstrated His satisfaction with Jesus' sacrifice by raising Him from the dead, and declared that by this one Man, the God-Man, He will judge every person. That's why He's declared that all must repent of their sins and believe in Christ for forgiveness and reconciliation. Repent and believe, David, for He is both Lord and Christ.

Johnny Dialectic said...

Sir Aaron, if you want to do any convincing, you'll have to become truly conversant in the view you oppose. Spend some time here (and keep your Bible open):

http://www.creationdays.dk/

Sir Aaron said...

still telling me what to do and where to be, I see.

Chris said...

Mike:

Well said, as usual in your comments!

jbboren said...

Chris: "How grateful I am to the Lord for saving me from my own sinful ignorance. "

Me too, Chris. I was an evolutionist until I was 29 years old. Add to that, I'm a PhD-trained scientist. So when God got ahold of me, it was truly sovereign grace. Now I'm in my mid 40s, and God continues to work on me, and continues to show me his grace.

Now, I'm one of those embarrasing guys with a doctorate and a YEC worldview. Who woulda thunk it 20 years ago?

I don't get involved in these debates anymore (got the t-shirt collection), but I do read them with interest as I see myself, at different times, on both sides of the issue.

All I can add (and this is for folks on either side of the debate) is to continue to pray for wisdom from God, and that he would lead you into His truth. I'm assuming we are all humble enough to trust that God can and will do that (if you don't, don't bother).

Bobby Grow said...

David,

I would like to add one thing to what Mike has said; God loves you, and He demonstrated that love for you by dying on the cross and rising again. He desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (and you're no exception). Anyway, God is love, and that is what shapes His holiness, justice, and salvation. Don't forget this precious truth (at the moment I don't even know, you may claim to know the Lord --- your remark about the Bible notwithstanding [maybe that was a rhetorical joust]).

Anyway . . .

David said...

Epilogue.

Ladies and gentlemen, the late, great George Carlin...

"Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time!"

"BUT HE LOVES YOU!"

Buh-bye.

DJP said...

At this point, it might be instructive to point to my comments at the close of this meta.

To everything I said there, I add this: it is, as I say, instructive that many commenters could not tell David apart from a "Christian" old-earther/evolutionist. The contempt towards the Biblical text, and the fawning, unquestioning faith in (today's dominant, self-proclaimed version of) science were indistinguishable to many.

The lesson goes out to all. Some will admit it, some won't.

Chris said...

David:

George Carlin is now in that very real hell he mocked and found so humorous in his rants; that little man was immediately brought face-to-face with the almighty God and creator of the universe. Because he rejected outright the Love of God, he discovered the wrath of God he seemed to know awaited him by the bitter flavor of this blasphemous quote.

It is too late for Carlin, but I pray that YOU might repent and believe the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ while you still can, lest you find yourself standing before your creator, and the creator of the universe I might add, only to face His wrath in righteous judgment for your sin. However, His mercy and grace for sinners who deserve nothing but eternal hell are also just as righteous. Many of us here were once blasphemers like you are, and all of us were separated from God before we came to faith in the Lord Jesus (like you are now).

God's power and authority are evident in every aspect of His creation and revealed plainly in His inerrant Word; His glorious salvation is evident in every aspect of the life of His perfect son. Again, I pray that God might soften your hardened heart and bring you to repentance and faith in Him--the one who authored everything in the universe that science can merely observe.

DJP said...

George Carlin and Us.

Citizen Grim said...

David/Carlin: "BUT HE LOVES YOU..."

omitted: "...and since there is no way we can redeem ourselves from the consequences of our sin, in God's matchless grace, he provided a means of redemption and reconciliation for us! And this not because of any virtue in us that we should deserve it, but because of solely because of his immeasurable virtue!"

There.

Chris said...

Dan:

Thanks for the reminder link to your excellent Carlin post in 08...sad and bleak as it was for such a troubled soul to enter eternity in the same spirit of blasphemy he boasted about throughout his life.

Chris said...

Grim:

From where did the "omitted" text you posted come? Don't mean to sound nit-picky, but I was just curious. (-:

Following David's Carlin quote, it almost appears, by titling it "omitted text," as though the text you posted was originally from Carlin as well--which would be completely incongruous.

Bobby Grow said...

David,

After all the science, and that whole discussion you're going to have Carlin be your mouthpiece for why you don't believe in God? C'mon, you can do better than that . . .

I don't know if you've been outside the Western world, much, David; but most people live in a proverbial "hell" right now; Jesus came to save the "sick," people who know they need "saving." I'll pray you'll become one of those kind of people (He already took hell for you at the cross). And btw, no Christian wants anyone to end up in hell; that's because our Lord does not desire this, we care for the "lost," which means we care for you, bro!

Mike Riccardi said...

It is, as I say, instructive that many commenters could not tell David apart from a "Christian" old-earther/evolutionist. The contempt towards the Biblical text, and the fawning, unquestioning faith in (today's dominant, self-proclaimed version of) science were indistinguishable to many.

When I realized that he wasn't claiming to believe in Christ, I was struck by the very same thing, and frankly it was quite scary. OEC and TE guys will likely see the point you're making as a caricature or a cheap shot.

But to my OEC and TE friends, with no snark I say to you: that's serious.

Even if I'm a total moron, I should be able to distinguish your view from an unbeliever's worldview. You have a responsibility to make your worldview distinguishable from a secular worldview, otherwise you have no business calling it a Christian worldview.

I simply could not tell the difference. That worries me, and it should worry you. Please think about what that means for you, your own responsibility before God, and your witness to the unbelieving world.

John said...

Sorry, David, but that's fail. You're entitled to your opinion, but I am surprised that you are so quick to share one so vacuous.